The Smolt Bolt is a 4-mile foot race along the Machias and East Machias Rivers in Washington County, Maine. It is held at the time when juvenile Atlantic salmon (smolts) head out to sea. The Bloater Bash is the companion celebration of migratory alewives.
The race will take place on Saturday, May 17, but we will be celebrating fish migration all week. Bloaters (smoked alewives) from our traditional smokehouse will be available to visitors and we will be collecting oral histories.
The Downeast Salmon Federation is a watershed-based conservation group founded by local anglers dismayed at the decline of wild Atlantic salmon populations in their home rivers. We work through education, habitat restoration, stocking and through land conservation to help bring back the wild salmon. As our organization has grown we have also taken on other species of sea-run fish like alewives and smelts.
The Smolt Bolt race course will be run alongside the Machias and East Machias Rivers, starting in downtown Machias, winding downstream to Machias bay, and heading up along the East Machias. While there are relatively few Atlantic salmon smolts going out to sea, we are fortunate to have an abundant run of diadromous alewives. Alewives are an historic food source in this area and continue to be commercially valuable as lobster bait and smoked fish enthusiasts. We will be smoking locally caught alewives in our heritage smokehouse as a complement to the awards ceremony for the racers.
For more information, or to register, please contact Maria McMorrow
firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 271-7564.