Management and Conservation

The next time you go fishing, you might just catch a fish that was raised at a National Fish Hatchery. Since 1871, National Fish Hatcheries have been responding to conservation challenges affecting America’s fish and other aquatic species. Producing fish continues to be an irreplaceable tool in managing or restoring fisheries along with habitat conservation. In doing so, we help provide recreation opportunities to America’s 34 million anglers who spend $36 billion annually in pursuit of their favored pastime. 

Craig Brook NFH began as a hatchery to supplement the noticeably declining Atlantic salmon stocks in the late 1800s and throughout it's history also provided a variety of sport fish species for New England waters. The role of the hatchery changed to that of a genetic conservation hatchery dedicated to raising river-specific strains of Atlantic salmon for Gulf of Maine rivers after the species was listed as an endangered in 2000. Craig Brook NFH produces on average 3 million eggs a year for recovery purposes only.

Our Services

Craig Brook NFH manages Atlantic salmon brood populations that originate from the Penobscot, Machias, Narraguagus, Sheepscot, East Machias, Dennys, and Pleasant rivers. These populations are the safety net to prevent extinction and the genetic resources needed to produce the next generation of this critically endangered species. A total of over 3 million eggs are produced annually at Craig Brook NFH, 1 million of which are allocated every year to be transferred to nearby Green Lake NFH in Ellsworth, ME for smolt production. The other 2 million eggs are either egg planted, fry stocked, or reared to parr at partner hatcheries operated by the Downeast Salmon Federation