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Improving DEC's Fish Hatcheries

Ongoing Projects:

Bath Hatchery

Preliminary work has been completed for the installation of a new feed and equipment storage building. Ground was broken in the fall of 2015 and the project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2016. The present building is being used for storage and is old and an inadequate size for the storage needs of the hatchery. A new loading dock will also be built so feed deliveries can be unloaded with a forklift instead of by hand. Overall, the new building will be more efficient on many fronts.

Backhoe digging out earthen ponds
Construction of earthen ponds at South Otselic

South Otselic Fish Hatchery

Work commenced in July 2016 for the replacement of pond outlet structures and the combining of the earthen ponds. These ponds are used to grow out walleye fry. The original outlet structures are very old and have developed leaks. Once the project is completed there will be improved survivability which will lead to increased production numbers for the walleyes. The project is slated to be completed in October 2016.

Recently Completed Projects:

new fiberglass raceways installed at the Chateaugay Fish Hatchery
New fiberglass raceways at Chateaugay.

Chateaugay Fish Hatchery

Thirteen outside fiberglass raceways were installed in the summer of 2016. The old raceways had developed many cracks and were in poor shape overall. Demolition of the 50 year old concrete raceways was completed in June 2016 and the pouring of the new pad and retaining walls along with new piping and valves for each of the raceways was completed in July 2016. These raceways will be able to hold more fish which will help in meeting production goals for the hatchery system.

Chautauqua Fish Hatchery

A new ultraviolet water disinfection system has recently been installed. The new system will be able to kill pathogens in the hatchery's water supply much more efficiently than the old antiquated system. Disease prevention will be increased and this will benefit the walleyes and muskellunge that are raised at the hatchery.

Two new high efficiency water boilers were installed in the fall of 2015. They will be used to heat the building and to heat the production water for the raising of the walleyes and muskellunge. The original boilers were energy inefficient and prone to constant repairs. These new boilers will increase fish production and save on heating costs.

Oneida Fish Hatchery

The installation of two new high efficiency water boilers and associated piping has been completed. The installation began in the middle of August 2015. The boilers are used for heating the building and to heat the production water that is used to raise walleyes. The original water boilers had become inefficient due to their age as these were the original boilers when the hatchery was built in 1992. Another infrastructure project that was completed at Oneida the installation of a new traveling screen. The traveling screen is used to clean debris in the production water as it enters the hatchery so screens and assorted piping and valves will not become clogged and ultimately kill the fish due to the lack of oxygen in the water. Replacement parts for the original traveling screen had become obsolete.

Rome Fish Hatchery

Work was completed on a new concrete wall for the natural spring which is the source for all the spring water for the hatchery. A few years ago leaks developed in the old spring wall and a temporary repair was made on the wall but the leaks have redeveloped so a new wall was needed. Miscellaneous new piping and valves were also installed throughout the hatchery. A new flow meter was installed in the reservoir water line which is the hatchery's largest source of production water for the fish. This flow meter will help in regulated the proper amounts of water that go to the fish production ponds.

Salmon River Fish Hatchery

New aquarium at the salmon river fish hatchery
Newly installed aquarium at Salmon River Fish Hatchery

The Salmon River Fish Hatchery reservoir line which supplies the majority of the water to the hatchery has been supplying a reduced amount of water for the past few years. Organic debris has accumulated in the line which has restricted the flow of water which has resulted in a reduced number of fish that can be raised at the hatchery. In June 2016, new valves were installed to replace many of the existing valves in the reservoir line. Once the valves were installed, the cleaning of the line by "pigging" commenced. Once all the work was completed there was a substantial increase in water flow which will subsequently help in producing more fish in the future for Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

Another project that has been completed in the spring of 2016 at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery was the installation of three new aquariums in the visitor center at the hatchery. These aquariums will display different fish species which occupy different habitats stretching from the upper Salmon River to Lake Ontario. The new display will help visitors understand the different habitats that each species occupies and how varied the fish species which occupy those areas of the river and lake.

Van Hornesville Fish Hatchery

Phase I of the installation of drainage lines and new pathways was completed in the fall of 2014. Phase II was completed in November 2015. Phase II included more drainage lines and pathways around the pond areas and it also included repaving the parking lot and portions of the hatchery access road. Poor drainage and old gravel pathways led to poor walking conditions for visitors. Visitors will now have a more enjoyable visit since walking conditions have greatly improved throughout the hatchery.

Funding for Recently Completed Projects

The Salmon River projects are being funded from a Natural Resource Damages account. All the other projects have been or will be funded by the Governor's Office NY Works Funding Program.


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