Cumberland County, Pa
The process leads to the next generation of fish stocked in Pennsylvania.
The process involves collecting reproductive material from 3-year-old female and 2-year-old male trout, cleaning the eggs to prevent disease, and storing the fertilized eggs in tanks.
After about a month, the eggs hatch and the young trout live out of their egg sacs for a short time before swimming.
“The fish we stock throughout the Commonwealth each spring, beginning in February, draw millions of anglers to Pennsylvania each year,” said PFBC Executive Director Tim Schaefer. “It’s a 24/7, 365 operation and the hatchery starts today.”
Most rainbow trout grow in hatcheries for about 18 months, averaging 11 inches in length and weighing more than half a pound, before being stocked into the state’s public waterways, typically before the spring trout season. The first Saturday of April.
“The eggs we collected today are tiny, but before you know it, they’ll be beautiful fish that you’ll be hauling on the end of your line all over Pennsylvania,” Schaefer said.
Before being stocked as large “trophy trout”, some fish, called broodstock, are kept in the hatchery for 2-3 years for hatchery purposes.
Hatching operations are held every Tuesday morning throughout the month of August.