The Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery in Orland may need to reduce its fish stock if it can't reduce phosphorus discharges by 2025.
In this Nov. 20, 2014, file photo, an Atlantic salmon is seen at the Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery in East Orland. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

The Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery in Orland must reduce the amount of phosphorus it discharges into Alamoosook Lake under a proposed settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA said the hatchery, which is run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, hasn’t met requirements under the Clean Water Act that limit phosphorus effluent, which can cause harmful algal blooms.

“Harmful algal blooms in New England waters have been increasing in recent years and need to be addressed in order to protect human health and the environment,” said David Cash, the regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We appreciate that the Service has worked cooperatively with EPA in an effort to protect Maine’s water quality.”

Under the agreement, the hatchery must meet annual phosphorus limitations by 2025. Otherwise, it will need to build an effluent bypass or reduce the number of fish.

The fish hatchery raises salmon for endangered species restoration.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.