About the program
The Province has administered a hatchery program since 1982, when a federal-provincial agreement delegated responsibility for the production and distribution of trout in Nova Scotia. Stocking initiatives are probably the most visible and popular of Inland Fisheries' management activities.
Approximately 200 lakes are stocked each spring as part of our urban stocking program. Nova Scotia's most popular salmonids, Brook trout and Rainbow trout are made available for this program. Trout are generally catchable size and in addition to providing angling opportunity may reduce pressure on more vulnerable wild stocks. More than 45 derbies receive trout from our Fraser's Mills and McGowan Lake hatcheries. These social events are cherished by many organizers and communities as a means of introducing youngsters to the enjoyment and comradery that angling can provide. An additional 200 lakes are stocked in the fall, usually after the angling season closes as part of our fall enhancement program. Brook trout account for most of this effort but Brown trout and Sea-run Atlantic salmon populations are also enhanced at this time of year. In recent years, the hatcheries have been able to provide additional Rainbow trout to sites with winter seasons as the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture looks to expand winter angling opportunities.
Some of the Province's more popular stocked lakes are: RFA-1 #20 Dam Pond (Cape Breton Co.), McIntyre Lake (Inverness Co.) RFA-2 Cameron Lake (Antigonish Co.), Gairloch Lake (Pictou Co.), RFA-3 Albro Lake (Halifax Co.), Sucker Lake (Lunenburg Co.) RFA-4 Everitts Lake (Digby Co.), Christopher Lakes (Queens Co.) RFA-5 Silver Lake (Kings Co.) Meadow Pond (Hants Co.), RFA-6 Angevine Lake (Cumberland Co.), Little Dyke Lake (Colchester Co.)
Fraser's Mills Hatchery
Built in 1928 as part of the Government of Canada's hatchery system, Fraser's Mills has essentially been rebuilt since the Province of Nova Scotia assumed responsibility for its operation. The site has outdoor raceways and circular ponds as well as a hatchery building and broodstock development facility. Four species of salmonids are reared at this hatchery; Speckled (Brook) trout, Brown trout, Rainbow trout and Landlocked salmon. It is the only trout broodstock (adult parent fish) facility in the province, with several thousand broodstock maintained on this site. This hatchery distributes approximately 500,000 - 700,000 fish annually.
Fraser's Mills Fish Hatchery
RR #3, St. Andrews
Antigonish Co., NS B0H 1X0
McGowan Lake Hatchery
The McGowan Lake Hatchery, built in 1987, has helped to ensure the future of trout fishing in western Nova Scotia, a region with many acid-stressed lakes and streams. This hatchery utilizes a unique water treatment facility and an oxygen generation and injection system to rear 1 million speckled trout which are released annually as fry, fall fingerlings and yearlings.
Both hatcheries have visitor interpretation centres which provide an opportunity to learn more about the hatchery and other aspects of recreational angling in Nova Scotia. Visitors can view photographs, posters, artifacts and displays on a variety of subjects.
For more detailed information on hatchery stocking programs see "Population Enhancement" in Nova Scotia's Trout Management Plan
McGowan Lake Fish Hatchery
Caledonia, Queens Co., NS B0T 1B0
Margaree Fish Hatchery
In 2008, the Province officially acquired this facility from the community-based volunteer group, the Aquatic Development Association of Margaree, which had operated the hatchery since 1996. First opened in 1902, the Margaree Hatchery has been supporting the local salmon and trout fishery for over a century, as well as attracting visitors to the scenic Margaree valley. The Margaree Hatchery provides approximately 150,000 salmon parr and smolt, and 100,000 trout at various stages primarily for stocking into the Margaree River and local watersheds.
Margaree Fish Hatchery
Inverness Co, NS