Busy spring at the Caledonia Fish Hatchery
Itís been a very busy spring for New York State DEC Region 8 workers at the Caledonia Fish Hatchery, where virtually all of the two-year old 13 -15 inch Brown Trout used in the DECís stocking program are produced. The hatchery produces approximately 170,000 pounds of fish annually that are eventually stocked in area creeks and streams to enhance recreational fishing.
After two postponements due to poor weather conditions and flood stage waters, Hatchery Manager Alan Mack and his workers completed the first of three stocking events on Oatka Creek in Scottsville on April 11. A damp and cold rainy day didnít deter the curious onlookers from watching the fish be scooped up in nets and loaded into trucks standing nearby, ready for transport to Oatka Creek. Many of the spectators youngsters, they hope to catch one of these Brown Trout someday soon from one of the area creeks or streams. After two more stocking events from now through mid-May, a total of 1,050 two year old 14- inch Brown Trout and 4,000 yearlings (9 inches) will have been released into the waters of Oatka Creek.
Caledonia Fish Hatchery also stocks Spring Brook in Byron, DeWitt Pond in Batavia and Canandaigua Outlet in Ontario County. Spring Creek in Livingston County does not require stocking. In total, the hatchery annually produces approximately 100,000 two-year old Brown Trout and about 300,000 yearlings. About 120,000 fish are kept at the hatchery for the next yearís stock of two-year olds. A smaller hatchery in the Town of Wheatland, called Cedar Springs, produces about 65,000 Rainbow Trout which are stocked in Hemlock, Canadice and Ontario Lakes.
"We raise all of the two-year old Brown Trout in New York State," said Mack, adding that one-third of the fish are transported to waterways in the Catskill Mountains.
While fishing on Spring and Oatka Creeks is permitted all year, there are very specific regulations regarding the size and number of fish that can be harvested and specific locations along those waterways. A catch and release regulation is in place during certain months of the year as are regulations surrounding live bait and artificial lures. Consult the New York State DEC Freshwater Fishing Regulations for specific information on local creeks and Conesus Lake.