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Downeast Hatchery Suffers 'Trout Crash'

October 02, 2016 - Augusta-Plagued by low water at West Grand Lake and rising lake water temperatures of the intake water at the Grand Lake Stream fish hatchery, the state wound up losing an estimated 20,000 brook trout at the hatchery over the past few weeks.

According to Todd Langevin, Superintendent of Hatcheries in Augusta, the loss, while significant, should “not impact the state’s overall stocking program.” Langevin says that in the state’s annual stocking plans there are built-in buffers for such sudden losses.

The fish that were lost were close to fingerling size and would have been stocked late this fall. Although this was the largest “trout crash” in recent years at the Downeast hatchery, some hatchery trout were lost in 2008 and 2012 due to excessively warm lake water being taken from the West Grand Lake intake source.

Langevin says that there have been no other significant water temperature issues at the state’s other trout hatcheries.

When asked if there was a plan in the works to mitigate the water temperature issue, the hatcheries director indicated that there was a plan on the drawing board to extend the lake intake pipe into deeper water in search of more suitable water temperatures. Projected cost for extending the intake pipe to deeper water is about a million dollars. The state’s annual budget for its stocking and hatchery program is in excess of three million dollars.

Estimated cost of this fall’s trout fry loss is in the neighborhood of $8,000.00


V. Paul Reynolds, Portland Press Herald, October 2016

Lakes: West Grand Lake
Regions: Downeast


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