June 9, 2016

IFW News -- Unexpected Reduction in Waterflow at Casco Hatchery Not Expected to Adversely Affect Stocking Programs

AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife owns and operates a total of eight fish hatcheries and/or rearing stations across the state and stocks approximately 1.2 million fish each year. Maine’s fish hatcheries play an important role in supporting sport fishing in Maine, which has a $360 million impact on the state’s economy.

Constructed in 1955, the fish hatchery and rearing station in Casco is responsible for approximately 12% of the Department’s annual hatchery production. The facility raises landlocked salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout and brown trout.

Last week, the Casco hatchery experienced an unexpected reduction in water flow entering the facility. Unfortunately, the disruption in water flow caused the loss of many of the juvenile landlocked salmon (fry) being raised at the facility.

Anglers can be assured that the loss of salmon fry is not expected to adversely affect most of the salmon stocking programs in Southern Maine, as additional salmon production at the Grand Lake Stream hatchery and rearing station will offset the fry being raised at the Casco facility.

As a precautionary measure, some fish from the hatchery that would normally be stocked in early fall are being stocked in their planned locations now, and some fish are being relocated to other facilities.

The Casco hatchery is supplied with water by a single pipeline from Pleasant Lake. The intake pipe at the facility was identified as needing improvements in a recent infrastructure study that was conducted on all of the Department’s hatcheries and rearing stations. Although the reason for the sudden disruption in flow has not yet been determined, the Department’s fisheries biologists and hatchery staff are working hard to identify the cause and determine both short term and long term solutions.

In the meantime, anglers across the state will still be able to enjoy the abundance of fishing opportunities that Maine has to offer. A current fish stocking report is available by visiting www.mefishwildlife.com