Penobscot Marine Museum will open for its 81st year Saturday, May 27, with “Gone Fishing!”  The new show explores the world of Maine's commercial fisheries through exhibits and programs that promise to entertain and educate children and adults alike.

An opening reception for the exhibit “The Net Result: Our Evolving Fisheries” will be held Thursday, May 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Main Street Gallery, 40 East Main St./Route 1. “The Net Result” uses the downtown museum’s photo collection from the National Fisherman publication to form the backbone of this exhibit, focusing on the commercial fishing industry in the post-WWII era.

Saturday afternoon, the museum invites one and all to celebrate the career and talents of MDI boatbuilder and National Heritage Fellow Ralph Stanley; see the story linked below.

As technology has changed through the years, so has the equipment that is used. Museum visitors will have the opportunity to take a look through time and see how the wheelhouses of fishing vessels have evolved. Advances in aquatic farming ensure the sustainability of Maine’s fisheries. As part of Penobscot Marine Museum’s 2017 season, visitors will be able to observe an operational aquaponics system, courtesy of Herring Gut Learning Center in St. George.

Fishing weirs were once vital parts of Maine’s fishing industry, but now number in the few. Penobscot Marine will have a recreated fishing weir on site where visitors can experience one from a fish’s perspective. And there will be realistic looking Maine fish in the museum’s new display.

The season will be filled with a line-up of speakers, demonstrations and events related to Maine fisheries including a Maine seafood event Sept. 9 and 10: Maine Marine Fare will celebrate all the foods from the abundant waters of coastal Maine with talks, panel discussions and educational tastings. It will end with a dinner called Food from Our Seas, prepared by chef Sam Hayward with the assistance of Ladleah Dunn. Tasting and dinner tickets will be sold separately.

“Gone Fishing!” runs Saturday, May 27, through Sunday, Oct. 15. Penobscot Marine Museum has a campus of 12 historic buildings. Exhibits include hands-on activities for children and adults, as well as a ship captain’s house, marine paintings, scrimshaw, 19th-century Chinese and Japanese pottery, paintings and textiles, historic Maine boats, a fisheries exhibit and an heirloom vegetable garden. The museum also has more than 200,000 historic photographs and a maritime history research library.

For more information, stop by the Visitors Center at 2 Church St.; check for daily activities and events; or call the Visitors Center, 548-0334, or Administrative Offices, 548-2529. The museum will be open daily.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or