WV Wildlife: Trout Hatchery Improvements

Some much needed upgrades have been made at Edray in Pocahontas County, one of West Virginia's oldest trout hatcheries. (WCHS/WVAH)

Raising trout is just like running a farm.

No matter the conditions outside, these members of the salmon family have to be fed and attended to every day of the year.

It's hard work, but the Division of Natural Resources takes great pride in supplying these beautiful fish to our waterways for anglers to catch and enjoy.

At Edray Trout Hatchery in Pocahontas County, some of that work has become a little bit easier with recent upgrades to the facility.

"The objective here was to get all 18 of these pools functioning again”, said Jim Hedrick—a fisheries biologist and hatchery program manager with the WVDNR.

“So, all of those intake lines have now been replaced with stainless steel fittings, we have a nice valve we can control and we can adjust the flow out here on the end with pvc--so that allows us to get adequate water in these pools that we have not been able to do in the past, or for a lot of years".

It may not be noticed right at first, but upgrades here at Edray--and other hatcheries across the state in the future--should make your fishing experience even better.

"Increase in distribution efficiency, because now we can hold more fish here during the time period that we need them. In addition to the fish that we raise here, we also transfer fish from other facilities in order to meet the stocking demand for the area", said Hedrick.

The funding for these improvements? You, the angler.

"Everything at the facilities is paid for by the anglers themselves with the fishing license and the trout stamp--part of that--so yes, we're just trying to hopefully increase the efficiency and produce more fish for the angler".

And that should keep those lines tight for years to come.

"The purpose of trying to ensure that we can continue to produce trout is to provide them to the anglers--because we have such a rich hunting and fishing heritage in West Virginia. We want to keep that going and enhance that--and try to encourage our future generations to become anglers and hunters", said Hedrick.

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