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Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Ryan Schultz, left, steadies a crate as Ernie Wallace fills it with alewives netted below the Benton Falls dam on Wednesday.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Ryan Schultz, left, Harlan Simmons and Thomas Keister fill crates with alewives harvested below the Benton Falls dam on Wednesday.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    The annual harvest of spawning alewives is well under way below the Benton Falls dam on the Sebasticook River on Wednesday. Tons of the migrating fish are corralled and netted, loaded into crates and sold by the Springtime Bait company for lobster bait to fishermen along the Maine coast. The work is hard and sometimes dangerous as workers negotiate rocky shorelines in waders or balance a boat filled with a couple thousand pounds of flopping fish in rushing water. Harlan Simmons, from left, Ernie Wallace, Thomas Keister and Ryan Schultz unload a boatload of fish into crates that are then hauled up to a waiting truck.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Spawning alewives make Sebasticook River water turbulent as they congregate below the Benton Falls dam on Wednesday.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    A boatload of spawning alewives waits in the Sebasticook River in Benton for workers with Springtime Bait to unload fish into crates that will be trucked away on Wednesday.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Thomas Keister uses ropes to maneuver his boat filled with alewives netted in the Sebasticook River in Benton on Wednesday. Workers unloaded the fish that will be sold as lobster bait into crates for the Springtime Bait company.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Ernie Wallace pulls with all his might on a rope tied to a boat filled with alewives in the swift water of the Sebasticook River below the Benton Falls dam in Benton on Wednesday. The fish were loaded into crates and hauled up the steep embankment to trucks.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Thomas Keister maintains his balance in a boat laden with thousands of pounds of alewives he netted from the fast moving Sebasticook River below the Benton Falls dam during the annual harvest of the spawning fish on Wednesday.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    In the pouring rain Harlan Simmons unhooks crates that were lowered by rope to the shoreline of the Sebasticook River in Benton below the Benton Falls dam for the annual harvest of spawning alewives on Wednesday.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Harlan Simmons, left, and Thomas Keister of Springtime Bait company unload alewives that were netted below the Benton Falls dam during the annual harvest on Wednesday. Tons of the migrating fish are corralled, netted, and loaded into crates to be sold as lobster bait to fishermen along the Maine coast. Hundreds of thousands of fish are lifted up and over the dam by a fish lift before and during the harvest to ensure adequate numbers reach spawning sites upstream in the Sebasticook River.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Noah Mark, left, watches as John Tripp shovels ice onto alewives during the annual harvest below Benton Falls dam on Wednesday. The fish will be sold as lobster bait.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Noah Mark, left, and John Tripp on Wednesday ift crates filled with alewives onto a truck to be transported and sold as lobster bait.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Crates containing 250 pounds of harvested alewives are pulled up a ramp at the Benton Falls dam on Wednesday to a truck. The fish will be sold later as lobster bait.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Below the Benton Falls dam on Wednesday, Ernie Wallace, left, and Thomas Keister pull 250-pound floating crates full of alewives to a ramp where the crates are hauled up to a waiting truck to be sold as lobster bait.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Harlan Simmons prepares crates to be filled with harvested alewives below the Benton Falls dam on Wednesday. A fish lift on the dam directly behind Simmons allows hundreds of thousands of fish to continue migrating up the Sebasticook River to lay eggs.

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    Millions of alewives rush up Sebasticook River - Staff photo by David Leaming | of | Share this photo

    Crates are lowered on ropes down to workers harvesting alewives below the Benton Falls dam on Wednesday.

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