Imagine peering up from the bottom of a river and watching as trout, minnows and turtles glide past – all without getting your feet wet. At the L.L.Bean Flagship Store in Freeport, Maine, you can do just that.
Visitors can experience first-hand the diverse community living in our Riverbed Aquarium. 24-feet long and filled with 3,500 gallons of water, this freshwater habitat offers you the chance to witness a Maine ecosystem at work. Take in the panoramic view from the glass wall or use our unique bubble dome built into the tank floor to get an interior view. Step inside, and it’s like you’re underwater with the fish. Adults and kids alike can fit under this fun, unusual construction– there are only five or six such domes in the world!
Our fish all come from Maine state hatcheries approved by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. The four species in the tank are rainbow, brown and brook trout and landlocked salmon. These freshwater swimmers are delivered 200 gallons of purified, recycled water every minute. This constant stream simulates a river current so the fish feel at home, and more often than not you’ll find the fish happily swimming against the water’s flow. The rocks they swim past may look realistic, but they are actually made of hand painted fiberglass to better fit the tank. In addition to these features, a special light mimicking the sun comes on at 10 a.m. and goes off at 6 p.m. to replicate a natural environment.
Though they may be easiest to spot, trout and salmon are not the only animals dwelling in this tank. Native crayfish, which can be found hiding in the nooks and crannies of the aquarium, provide an alternative food source for the fish. Generally, though, the fish eat high nutrient fish pellets to stay healthy. Our store is open 24 hours a day, so if you pay a visit to the tank between 5 and 7 a.m. you might see them being fed!
With such a variety of native fish, there’s always something going on in the Riverbed Aquarium. Have you been to visit our tank yet?