Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder “Alewives” Festival is filled with fun, adventures, music, educational exhibits, a 5K run, and food to tantalize and intrigue the entire family. The one-day festival is held on the Saturday of Memorial Weekend each year. The annual event educates visitors about the annual migration of alewives as they make their way up the historic fish ladder with its many pools. The fish ladder in Damariscotta Mills has been in operation for over two hundred years. Alewives are an important part of the food chain and contribute to the health of the marine environment and to the lakes and streams where the fish spawn. Every May and June, adult alewives guided by their sense of smell, migrate upstream from the ocean to rivers, streams, ponds and lakes to spawn. Learn about this annual event and witness the alewives live migration up the fish ladder.