The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will formally open a National Fish Hatchery in Maine to sport fishing.

There's a new spot to bend tips and rip lips. The Green Lake National Fish Hatchery in Ellsworth was part of a proposal from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to expand public access to lands for the purpose of hunting and fishing. The proposal formally open the waters near fish hatchery to sport fishing.

The 90-day public comment period closed earlier this summer, with no comments from the public. The hatchery will move forward with their plan to formerly open areas of the property to spot fishing. In addition, existing trails on the hatchery property will be open for recreational activities like wildlife photography, hiking, and leashed dog walking.

The area opening to fishing is Reeds Brook, which flows between Graham Lake and Green Lake. Specifically, a four-acre (approximate) area between the Green Lake hydroelectric dam and the 180 (Mariaville Rd.) bridge is to open. Fishing from the shoreline or with a boat, depending on water levels, will be permitted. Primary inhabitants of the waters include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, sunfish, chain pickerel, and other warm water species. No special permits will be required, just a valid Maine fishing license.

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Fishing will not be allowed within 50 feet from the hatchery raceways, pools, and fish culture areas, in an effort to maintain biosecurity of stocked fish populations. Fishing in the Green Lake Waterpower Company Hydro-electric tail race area from the shoreline is prohibited. There is no public shoreline access to Green Lake from the hatchery property. Anglers will be able to park their vehicles on the hatchery property while fishing in the area.

The hatchery will begin to implement the plan for Green Lake NFH upon publication of the final 2021-2022 Station-Specific Hunting and Sport Fishing Regulations in the Federal Register.

The hatchery raises eight river-specific strains of Atlantic salmon for the recovering endangered Atlantic salmon. According to the hatchery, "three out of every four Atlantic salmon returning to U.S. waters come from the Green Lake National Fish Hatchery." The goal of the stocking program is to restore "self-sustaining" fish populations.

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