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November 2, 2022
Mills Administration Announces $20 Million Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan Investment To Rebuild State Fish Hatcheries
For More Information and Updates On Maine's Hatcheries Redesign and Reconstruction, Please Visit: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fish-wildlife/hatcheries/hatchery-improvements.html For More Information On Governor Mills Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, Please Visit https://www.maine.gov/jobsplan
AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) announced today that it will utilize a $20 million investment from Governor Mills' Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to redesign and rebuild two state fish hatcheries in Grand Lake Stream and New Gloucester. The two hatcheries produce over 70 percent of Maines landlocked salmon and over 40 percent of the states brown trout that are stocked each year.
"As an avid angler myself, I know how much fishing means to sportsmen and women across Maine," said Governor Mills. With this investment, we will improve our fish hatcheries to support our outdoor economy and to ensure that generations of fishermen to come will be able to enjoy the great outdoors and the thrill of a brook trout on a tight line."
The $20 million in federal American Rescue Plan funds dedicated through the Governors Jobs Plan will be used to modernize the Grand Lake Stream and New Gloucester Fish Hatcheries, as well as water outflow at IFWs six other hatcheries. New Gloucester was built in the 1930s, and the fish are still raised in 1930s era earthen raceways which are collapsing. Grand Lake Stream improvements include the installation of new rearing tanks that will safeguard one of the last remaining distinct landlocked salmon populations.
The initial phase of the redesign and reconstruction is underway, as IFW has contracted with HDR Engineering, Inc. of Portland to design and engineer the two facilities. Construction plans will be put out to bid by early spring, with construction starting in the summer of 2023.
This is welcome news for anyone who fishes in Maine, said MDIFW Commissioner Judy Camuso. These improvements through the Governors Maine Jobs and Recovery plan will only enhance Maines reputation as a world-class fishery.
The recreational fishing industry in Maine contributes an estimated $320 million to the states economy annually and supports over 3,300 jobs, many of which are in rural Maine. Over 380,000 anglers are licensed to fish in Maine annually, and these anglers pursue a variety of fish that include our coldwater species such as brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, and landlocked Atlantic salmon.
At the core of Maines fisheries is Maines state hatchery system, which stocks over one million fish annually into Maines waters. Maines hatcheries enhance fisheries where there is not enough natural fish reproduction to support a fishery, and help sustain wild strains of brook trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, and Arctic char. During the Covid-19 pandemic, outdoor activities such as fishing spiked as people flocked to the outdoors. To sustain this recreational growth and continue to grow Maines outdoor economy, Maines hatcheries need to grow as well.
For more information, please visit: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/fish-wildlife/hatcheries/hatchery-improvements.html
The Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan is the Governors plan, approved by the Legislature, to invest nearly $1 billion in Federal American Rescue Plan funds to improve the lives of Maine people and families, help businesses, create good-paying jobs, and build an economy poised for future prosperity.
In the last year since the Jobs Plan took effect, the Mills Administration has delivered direct economic relief to nearly 1,000 Maine small businesses, supported more than 100 infrastructure projects around the state to create jobs and revitalize communities, and invested in workforce programs estimated to offer apprenticeship, career and education advancement, and job training opportunities to 22,000 Maine people.
Read a full report of the Jobs Plans investments in the past year here. For more about Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, visit maine.gov/jobsplan .