Fish hatcheries benefit from Wyoming’s cold, clean waters

Fish think growing up in the coldest, cleanest mountain waters beats the human conveniences of smooth roads and cell phone service, and we can’t disagree.

05/07/2022 20:50:10

CheyenneFish think growing up in the coldest, cleanest mountain waters beats the human conveniences of smooth roads and cell phone service, and we can’t disagree. Wyoming Game and Fish Department hatchery locations were chosen for one primary reason: water.

“Trout need a good source of clean spring water,” said Game Culture and Fish Culture Supervisor Guy Campbell. “Spring water sources, like those where our hatcheries are located, are a reliable source of water that generally does not carry pathogens harmful to fish health.”

Being an uphill state with good mountain snow accumulations means that Wyoming is an excellent place for trout farming. Melting is often referred to as “source recharging”.

“The number of fish you can grow is mainly based on how much water you have. Lots of fresh, clean water helps hatcheries meet quotas and stocking plans for fish every year,” he said.

There are other reasons for these off the beaten path locations.

The water temperature for trout also makes a difference. The water temperature in hatcheries and breeding stations is 46-60 degrees. That makes a big difference at a place like Story Hatchery, the only place in the United States with a captive broodstock of genetically pure golden trout. Golden trout thrive here due to the unique water temperature profile that closely mimics the seasonal water temperatures they would normally find in high mountain lakes.

In fact, all native trout grow well in locations similar to their typical ranges. For example, Auburn Hatchery raises a breeding stock of Snake River cutthroat and Daniel Hatchery houses a Colorado River cutthroat, both of which have similar environments to their home ranges.

Another big advantage? Visitors can stop at all hatcheries on their trip to the Cowboy State. Hatchery tours guarantee incredible scenery and a healthy dose of knowledge. The hatchery staff welcome visitors who wish to visit the hatcheries.

Hatchery locations and details of their history can be found on the Game and Fish website.

(Sara DiRienzo, Public Information Officer – ([email protected]))

-WGFD-

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