Annual Family Camping Trip – Fish Hatchery

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Still going on our camping trip. Today we will chit chat a bit about our tour of the FISH HATCHERY!

Again, thanks to troop dad Frank, we were able to tour the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery run by the Colorado Division of Wildlife. We were given a personal tour of the inside of the facility, not usually open to the public, as well as a chance to feed the “big” fish outside. It was a rainy day, but that didn’t dampen our spirits. It was a really great afternoon!

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This is our “tour guide”, Matt, giving us a bit of history about the hatchery and why he loves his job!

Then we moved inside. Each of these basins are FULL of tens of thousands of fish each. As they get bigger, they are moved from trough to trough before being big enough to put outside. Matt talked to us about how they are measured/counted, how they are fed and how they are transported.

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Once outside they are fed until they are big enough to stock the local lakes. We got to feed them outside. Matt also explained to us how they don’t feed them right before they are transported so they have empty bellies and won’t “foul” (thus basically asphyxiating themselves) in their transport tank on the way to their final home. Ever wonder why the fishing is REALLY good on the day a lake is stocked?!?!? šŸ™‚
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As an added bit of excitement, in the mountain side just above the hatchery a couple of Golden Eagles had made their nest. They had just hatched a few babies and were coming down to “fish” in the outside troughs. They got REALLY close to us…it was incredible!
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THANK YOU MATT for a GREAT day!
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Thanks also to the Division of Wildlife and Frank for allowing us to have this experience. It was a treat!
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