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West Virginia Wildlife
Running Hatcheries
Patrick McMurtry Raising Trout Takes A Lot Of Work

August 1, 2012
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


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This is the end result of all the work done at the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources hatcheries....fish in the streams, rivers and lakes around the state, but when I say work, I mean work....and a lot of it. Frank Williams runs the Bowden hatchery outside of Elkins where they raise, literally, tons of trout every year.

"Day to day, this time of year, we're raising our fingerlings and today, we're cleaning raceways which we do once a week. We have to feed three times a day and pick up moralities, any disease and parasite treatments, ground maintenance, equipment, any type of capital improvements." say Williams.

Yep, it takes a lot to run one of these hatcheries, and not all of it is glamorous work, either.

"It's a pretty simple process, get in the raceway, start at the head of it, use a push broom, we scrub the walls, we clean the floors, you work your way down cleaning floors as you go and we pull the stand pipes, which are the manure catch boxes." says Williams.

That's right, there's a lot of behind the scenes work running one of these hatcheries, and although it's year round, this is the busy season.

"In our stocking season, we usually hire two laborers. We have a manager, assistant manager and four hatchery technicians and their backgrounds vary from people who grew up working long hours on farms and have that good work ethic, to people who have college degrees." says Williams.

The one thing they all have in common is their love of these fish they put so much labor into raising...think about that the next time you get a nice rainbow on the end of your line.



LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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