Returning Alewives to China Lake Outlet Stream

One Million Fish screened at the following film festivals in 2023: Maine Outdoor Film Festival, New Hampshire Film Festival, Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, Equinox Mountain Environmental Film Festival, and the Nature without Borders Film Festival.

In summer 2022, nonprofit Maine Rivers partnered with Reel Quest Films to produce a short film highlighting its multiyear project to restore passage for alewives from the ocean to China Lake by removing and restoring 6 dams on 7-mile China Lake Outlet Stream.

For generations, these dams blocked river herring and other migratory fish species from returning to their spawning grounds in China Lake. Completion of the China Lake Outlet Stream Project allowed free passage for an estimated 800,000-­950,000 alewives (river herring), significant numbers of American eel, as well as sea lamprey, white sucker, and brook trout. Outlet Stream and China Lake are within the historical range of American shad and alewife, and China Lake is identified by the Maine Department of Marine Resources as a priority for alewife restoration.

Filming took place over three days and included interviews with Maine Rivers staff and other town and government agency officials, aerial and underwater videography, and many hours spent filming everything from alewive to osprey along the stream.

Learn More:
Go behind the scenes of the Maine Rivers film production in this blog post.