Fisheries & Hatcheries Division
Maine is widely known as a fishing destination and offers some truly unique, high quality fisheries for wild and stocked coldwater species such as brook trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, lake trout, arctic charr, lake whitefish; and warmwater species such as large and smallmouth bass.
The Division oversees management programs directed at the enhancement, preservation and protection of Maine's inland freshwater fisheries. The Division strives provide diverse, sustainable recreational and commercial public use opportunities for both wild and stocked fisheries, while conserving native fish and their habitat. Freshwater recreational fishing in Maine is very popular, generating over $380 million annually to the State's economy.
Division management programs include research, resource assessment and monitoring; prevention and eradication of invasive fish; habitat restoration; stocking, public education and outreach; permitting and licensing; water access development, and promulgation of fishing regulations. These program areas are developed and administered from the main office in Augusta, and implemented by staff working in eight regional offices, eight fish culture stations, and the fish health laboratory.
The Division stocks over 1,000,000 fish each year. Depending on the water, stocking is done to create new fishing opportunities, maintain existing fisheries where there is no wild reproduction, restore and reestablish native fisheries, and supplement existing fish reproduction. The Division also operates a fish health lab that ensures Maine's freshwater fisheries remain disease free.