Maine to Get $20 M for Hatcheries in American Rescue Plan

Home States Maine to Get $20 M for Hatcheries in American Rescue Plan
Maine to Get $20 M for Hatcheries in American Rescue Plan

Governor Mills announced today that Maine’s hatcheries will be the recipient of nearly $20 million from the American Rescue Plan. The funds will be used to modernize two hatcheries, and install upgrades at all eight of the Department’s hatcheries.

During the pandemic, hunting and fishing has spiked as people flocked to the outdoors.  Already in 2021, fishing license sales are up nearly 20 percent over last year. At the core of Maine’s fisheries is Maine’s State hatchery system, which stocks over one million fish annually in Maine’s waters. Fishing in Maine has an annual economic impact of over $320 million, supports over 3,300 jobs, and there are over 350,000 licensed anglers in Maine.

Despite the importance of Maine’s hatcheries to the state’s outdoor recreation economy, some hatcheries are woefully outdated. These funds would improve infrastructure at all hatcheries, particularly at New Gloucester and Grand Lake Stream.

Fish are raised in earthen raceways in New Gloucester, which will be replaced by 16 circular tanks. Improvements would also include increasing bulk oxygen, deepening the water supply reservoir, and a water treatment facility for water exiting the hatchery.

At Grand Lake Stream, home to one of Maine’s last remaining distinct landlocked salmon populations, improvements would include eight 20’ diameter circular tanks that would hold feral brood stock, and protect them from possible disease since sea run alewives have been reintroduced into the watershed. Oxygenation capabilities would be increased, and water treatment facilities would be improved at Grand Lake Stream and all eight hatcheries.

Improvements are slated to start quickly, and anglers will see the benefits for years to come.

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