July 20, 2017
ATTENTION -- 7/20 UPDATE - CASCO HATCHERY/PLEASANT LAKE PROJECT
Construction continues ahead of schedule on the Casco Hatchery Pipeline Replacement Project. Currently, the new water intake pipe is fully assembled and crews are pressure testing the 3,900’ pipeline in preparation for lowering it to the lake bottom.
If the testing and preparations proceed as planned and there are no unexpected delays, crews could begin lowering the pipe into place before the weekend. Lowering the pipe into the proper position is expected to take up to three days.
The on-water construction portion of this pipeline project is currently two weeks ahead of schedule. Once the first intake line is in place on the lake bottom, crews will then focus on assembling a significantly shorter, second intake line for the Casco Hatchery. This 315’ pipeline will be assembled in the same manner as the first, but will not extend as far or as deep as the first line.
Currently, the pipeline is secured and floating along the southeastern shore of Pleasant Lake. The pipeline is marked with caution signs, warning lights and safety buoys. Once the pressure testing is complete, the floating pipeline will be moved to the area where it will be lowered to the lake bottom. The new intake pipe is replacing the original intake line, which stopped functioning last summer. While the diminished water flow did not interrupt hatchery production last year, failure to replace the intake this season would mean a lost year of production. The Casco Hatchery raises landlocked salmon, brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout which are stocked throughout the state. It is the only state hatchery that produces rainbow trout and the Sebago Lake salmon strain. The Casco Hatchery, established in 1954, produces over 85,000 catchable fish annually. Over 300,000 people fish in Maine each year, injecting $319 million into Maine’s economy annually.