"These raceways are ways to separate lots of fish. You can keep the numbers up pretty good, so when you do feed them, they are very active, very vigorous. They develop their muscles fighting for food and when they grow up, you move the fish." says Tom Olham, a biologist with the WVDNR.
Not very far, just from one raceway to the next, kind of like when your kid moves from grade school to middle school. And the DNR does a lot to make sure the segregated areas provide everything the fish need to grow big and healthy. With fish, the most important thing is water.
"The majority of it comes from the springs, but that's not enough for all the raceways, so it's supplemented with river water in addition to the north spring and south spring." say Oldham.
Good, clean, cold water gives them a good home, and the DNR staff provides the rest of the care these fish need.
"First thing you do in the morning is feed the fish because it's important you feed them on a regular basis. So you get a maximum growth, you feed them 2-3 times a day, then go around and check for mortality and pick up dead fish." says Olham.
There's not a lot of fish mortality at the hatcheries run by the DNR, and that means tons of trout from here will wind up in rivers, streams and lakes around the state. And when the guys here aren't directly taking care of the fish, they're taking care of the buildings and grounds which also play a big role in raising trout. Great job, guys.
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