FISH AND MARINE TILE COLLECTIONS
Our collection of fish and marine-themed tile is unmatched anywhere. We offer tiles no one else has, offering virtually limitless design possibilities for custom installations. Our Alewife tile, designed and produced exclusively for us, honors a fish native to our region
Our Exclusive Alewife Tile Line
Why the Alewife?
In 2010 – 2014 Tile Connection raised money to help with the Restoration of the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder. This idea came about because Audrey’s brother did a similar fund raising event for City of Hope Hospital with the creation of his Legends line made and distributed by Gainey Ceramics from 2005 to 2006.
This tile was conceived by Audrey Miller of Tile Connection here in Boothbay and created by Kim Walker in 2010 as a 4X9 tile with a white background. These tiles are offered as 4X9s or as “cut-outs”. These fish swim left or right and have a complete line of tiles to go with them. You can call Audrey for more information and help with your design.
What are Alewives?
Alewives are anadromous (sea-run) fish that spend the majority of their life at sea but return to freshwater to spawn. Alewives have co-evolved and co-existed with other native fish and wildlife in Maine’s streams, rivers, ponds and lakes for thousands of years. Alewives are members of the herring family; their close cousins are shad and blue back herring. Alewives have slender bodies, and they normally grow to 10” -11” in length, and weigh about half a pound. Repeat spawners can be as large as 14” and weigh a pound or more. Alewives are grayish green on their back, and silvery on their sides and belly. They’ve got a single black spot just behind their eye, and their tails are forked.
The bad news is that many Mainers have never seen an alewife run because Maine’s historically thriving alewife population has plummeted during the last two centuries. Dams, pollution and over fishing have taken their toll. Southern Maine’s Alewife Brook, for example, no longer has alewives.
The important message is that alewives tie our ocean, rivers and lakes together, providing vital nutrients and forage needed to make healthy watersheds. Imagine huge schools of alewives that swim in the Gulf of Maine, as far as 120 miles out. Then the adults move, in huge waves, back to shore and up into freshwater. Once they have spawned, adults then migrate back downstream, followed later in the summer and fall by the juveniles. Between and within those various habitats, everything eats alewives: striped bass, bluefish, weakfish, tuna, cod, haddock, halibut, American eel, rainbow- brown- and lake trout, landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, pickerel, pike, white and yellow perch, seabirds, bald eagle, osprey, great blue heron, gulls, terns, cormorants, seals, whales, otter, mink, fox, raccoon, skunk, weasel, fisher, and turtles. In addition, lobstermen harvest alewives as bait for their spring lobster fishery.
These excerpts are from a document by: Naomi Schalit, Executive Director of Maine Rivers, Lois Winter, Conservation Biologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Gulf of Maine Program, Dr. Gail Wippelhauser, Marine Resource Scientist II, Maine Dept. of Marine Resources.