According to the U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, when Atlantic salmon return to Maine’s rivers after feeding for two to three years at sea in the cold waters off Greenland, they will always return to their own native river where they hatched four years earlier. If an Atlantic salmon can survive all its predators, it can repeat the fresh water and ocean migration cycle and spawn, several times, during its life span. In spite of this, the Gulf of Maine’s distinct population of Atlantic salmon is an endangered species and the last remaining population of its kind in the United States. My grandsons and I learned all of that in a short time through well presented educational displays and interactive learning aids at the Craig Brook Fish Hatchery and Museum situated on Alamoosook Lake in East Orland, Maine.
The facility’s hatchery was established in 1871 as the first of its kind in the United States. Its purpose then, as today, is to propagate and stock juvenile Atlantic salmon to support their population. Over time, the facility has expanded to include archives and resource center, a museum, seminar site, an Atlantic salmon living stream, boat launches, picnic area, beautiful nature trails and a volunteer group called Friends of Craig Brook. There’s so much more you can learn by visiting the link at the bottom of this blog. Right now, I’d like to give you a tour of Craig Brook through the eyes of my grandsons during their recent visits to this quiet out of the way National treasure.
"The Leaper" welcomes guests to Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery.
An interactive way to measure Altantic salmon survival rates.
|Learning we can make a difference.|
Discovering what's in a watershed.
Stages of growth and development of young Atlantic Salmon
A healthy habitat is everything an Atlantic Salmon needs!
Adult Atlantic Salmon are housed in pens of water from their native rivers.
Adult Atlantic Salmon
Artifacts from Ancient Fishermen at Alamoosook Lake
There's lots to see and do at Craig Brook, inside and out.
Fun and education for everyone!
Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery does not charge admission fees and group tours for schools and organizations can be arranged. However, donations are always welcome to assist in the operation, upkeep, and future expansion of the facilities. Leashed pets with responsible owners are welcomed on the outside grounds.
For more information: (207) 469-6701 x 215 or http://www.fws.gov/northeast/craigbrook/
© Copyright 2012 Gail J. VanWart All Rights Reserved