[HANCOCK COUNTY, MAINE, July 19, 2022] – Tate Yoder, a native of Penobscot and media specialist at Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries (MCCF), will bring his short film, “A Watershed Moment: A Story about People, Fish, and the Water that Connects Them,” to the Blue Hill Public Library on Thursday, July 28 at 6:00pm. The 40-minute film highlights the five-year collaborative effort to restore waterways for alewives throughout the Bagaduce River Watershed.
Yoder was tasked with capturing a way to visually tell the story of those involved in what would be the first successful full restoration of a Maine river for fish passage. He did this with over 35 hours of raw footage and interviews with area nonprofits MCCF and Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), state and federal agencies, local government officials, property owners, and fishermen. He expressed the importance of interweaving those various perspectives and voices throughout the film.
The local filmmaker described one of the unique parts of the filming process, which was attempting to capture the alewife underwater. “Alewife are quite skittish so you have to remain as still as possible when filming them. I oftentimes left my camera on a tripod in the stream so the alewife would get used to it and swim close enough to get the shot. At one point, I even ended up stepping into a much-larger-than-expected pool in Snows Brook and went for a swim with the fish. The filming process was never dull,” says Yoder.
What makes the film even more special, is documenting this important effort in his hometown. He shares, “Growing up in Penobscot I’ve always had a strong tie and connection to this area. We were fortunate to screen the film at Penobscot Elementary School where I posed the question ‘who knows what an alewife is?’ Every single student raised their hand. It was encouraging to see the next generation be so connected to this keystone species.”
MCCF and MCHT are pleased to bring “A Watershed Moment” to Blue Hill, as well as to the 1932 Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor on Saturday, August 20. The events are free and open to the public, and will feature a panel of guest speakers involved in the project. The film will also be shown at the Maine Outdoor Film Festival later this month. For future showings and times, visit www.coastalfisheries.org.
About Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries: MCCF, located on Stonington’s working waterfront, is working to secure a diversified fishing future by connecting fishermen, scientists, regulators, and others through collaborative research, education, and management. Our innovative and collaborative approach allows us to make sure, that we can keep fishing alive for today and for tomorrow’s fishery stewards. To learn more, visit www.coastalfisheries.org.
Photo Credit: Sunrise County Economic Council