Hagerman Fish Hatchery
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Hagerman Hatchery is located about 4 miles south of Hagerman on highway 30. Turn at the Hagerman Wildlife Management Area sign and follow the gravel road about 1/2 mile to the hatchery.
A large hatchery building housing 28 rectangular vats is used to incubate eggs and rear small fish. From there, the fish are moved to eighteen nursery raceways until they are about 3 to 4 inches long. Next they are moved to 24 large raceways and grown to full size. The hatchery has four hauling vehicles of various sizes to stock the fish in lakes and rivers across the state. A water chiller can decrease the temperature of the 6,900 gallons of water in the storage tank from 59 degrees f. to 42 degrees in about two hours. Cold water holds more oxygen and slows the metabolism of the fish so they travel better. Water for the hatchery is supplied from Tucker Springs and Riley Creek. At full capacity, Hagerman Hatchery uses about 120 cfs of water to rear about three to four million fish annually. Four permanent hatchery personnel and one transport operator work at the hatchery.
Hatchery personnel provides tours to large groups with advance notice. Visitors are allowed on the hatchery grounds to look at the fish, and a showpond is present with large rainbow trout, golden rainbows, sturgeon, and tiger muskies. There is no charge to visit the facility. There are also opportunities to fish for trout, bass, bluegills and carp on the 880 acres of WMA property surrounding the hatchery.
Funding is provided from license monies. The purpose of the hatchery is to provide quality fish for Idaho waters. All of the rainbow trout that are released are sterile, so as not to interfere with the genetics of wild populations. The hatchery also produces coho salmon for Cascade Reservoir and small numbers of steelhead.