Peter Lataille surfs a standing wave, whitewater enthusiasts refer to as Joe P’s, on the Penobscot River near Indian Island. Lataille has been an ocean surfer for 14 years and later started using a paddle to help him get on more difficult waves, and to be able to surf rivers as well. When he is not surfing, the Hampden resident works as a perfusionist, who operates heart and lung machines during heart surgeries. Lataille is also an expert whitewater kayaker, rock and ice climber.
Saving an endangered species doesn’t only entail tedious negotiations by politicians but also through a massive amount of research and labor.
The Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery in East Orland has been at it for 125 years in an attempt to save the iconic Atlantic Salmon and keep them swimming up and down our rivers. The work of fisheries biologists is not exactly what you would call glamorous.
On a recent assignment, I had the privilege of being in the middle of it and went behind the scenes to photograph the process of saving salmon. The hatchery workers moved fast and efficiently to minimize the time fish were out of the water, those moments were my opportunities to capture a few images.
Catching, holding and stripping eggs from a fish that is 10 or even 15 pounds of slippery muscle is labor intensive. Not to mention the fact that they do all this in a fish friendly environment, that is relatively uncomfortable for people.
They are working to save a species and if they are successful they will put themselves out of work. But they’re working to keep alive a dream. A dream of many fishermen to again one day hook a wild Atlantic Salmon.