The Alewife Run

Alewives are sea-run fish, just like Smelt – a fascinating piece of a complex eco-web that is iconic to Maine life. Smelt run under the ice and we never really see them, but the Alewives run in May and June and you can visit them right at the Town Landing in Columbia Falls!

When the tide gets low, you can walk out to the falls and get a closer look at the Alewives milling around in the pool waiting for the tide to change. And as an added bonus at low tide (for you, not for the Alewives), you can watch the eagles fish!

A pair of Bald Eagles settles into a perch along the Pleasant River at Columbia Falls Town Landing.

Unfortunately, our arrival disturbed the adults slightly and they retreated onto a high, overlooking perch. But the juveniles were undeterred. They policed the low waters with their intense gazes, scattering seagulls at every turn.

Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME
Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME
Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME

They made long, sweeping runs along the water, testing their skills at skimming the surface and snatching up a meal.

Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME
Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME
Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME

Bold masters of their environment even at this young age, the eagles are always delightful to watch.


…coming in for a landing…

Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME
Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME
Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME

…watching…

Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME
Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME

…feasting…

Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME
Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME
Juvenile Bald Eagle fishing the Alewife Run, Town Landing, Columbia Falls, ME

Columbia Falls Town Landing offers a scenic getaway in any season. See the ice-fishing shacks in the winter; watch the lupines bloom in the summer. Watch the tide rise and falls and the eagles and osprey soar. And if you have a chance, definitely watch the Alewives run!

Read “All About Maine Alewives” from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

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