The Green Lake National Fish Hatchery (NFH) is a large-scale cold water hatchery located in Ellsworth, Maine. It was built in 1973, and fish production began in 1974. It is one of 70 National Fish Hatcheries in the United States working to restore, enhance and maintain heritage fisheries for the American people, and one of the 11 national fish hatcheries in the Northeast Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The hatchery raises eight river-specific strains of healthy Atlantic salmon for recovering endangered Atlantic salmon to Gulf of Maine rivers. Green Lake NFH releases 650,000 yearling Atlantic salmon smolts (8” fish) and 350,000+ fall parr (3-5” fish) each year. Fish are stocked into the Penobscot River (ME), Dennys River (ME), Narraguagus River (ME), Pleasant River (ME), the Union River (ME), the St. Croix River (ME), the Saco River (ME-NH), and the Merrimack River basin (MA-NH).
Three out of every four Atlantic salmon returning to U.S. waters come from the Green Lake National Fish Hatchery. Indeed, bringing Atlantic salmon back to the Penobscot River has been the most successful salmon restoration program in New England.
The ultimate goal of our stocking program is to restore "self-sustaining" fish populations that no longer need to be supplemented with fish produced at the hatchery.