Green Lake Fish Hatchery Credit: USFWS
Green Lake Fish Hatchery is one of 70 national fish hatcheries within the U.S.Fish and Wildlife Service supporting The Fisheries Program. The Fisheries Program is multi-faceted and has numerous components all working together to preserve America’s aquatic resources. The Program components include the National Fish Hatchery System, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Program, Aquatic Invasive Species Program, and the Marine Mammals Program. The economic value of this program is substantial.
Green Lake National Fish Hatchery is a large scale, cold water, hatchery located in Ellsworth, Maine as part of the Maine Fisheries Complex located in Orland, Maine. Green Lake NFH was built in three phases with original construction in 1973, a second phase of construction in 1976, and addition of the water treatment plant in 1978.
The Hatchery is part of the USFWS Atlantic salmon recovery program for Gulf of Maine Rivers. The primary mission at Green Lake NFH is to provide smolts and parr for these rivers. Currently fish are released into the Penobscot River basin (ME), Narraguagus River basin (ME), and the Pleasant River basin (ME). Green Lake NFH releases 650,000 yearling Atlantic salmon smolts and 350,000 fall parr each year. Fish production at GLNFH has been relatively consistent since operation began in 1974. However, the mission at the Hatchery may change with the addition of more river-specific, endangered Atlantic salmon smolts reared at the station.
The Species is Protected
Wild Atlantic salmon in eight of Maine's smaller rivers were listed as endangered under the protection of the Endangered Species Act in December 2000. In July 2009 Atlantic salmon populations of the Penobscot, Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers were added for protection, along with a designation of critical habitat for the entire geographic range of wild salmon in Maine.