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DEC Fish Hatcheries

Fishing Regulations New York Freshwater Fishing

DEC Fish Hatchery System Update

DEC operates 12 fish hatcheries and one fish pathology laboratory. Numerous fish species are reared for stocking into more than 1,200 public waters across the state. Annual production averages 850,000 to 900,000 pounds of fish. All hatcheries are open to the public from spring through fall, and several are open year-round.

Adirondack Hatchery is located about 12 miles from the Village of Saranac Lake in Franklin County. This facility specializes in rearing landlocked Atlantic salmon for statewide distribution. Annual production averages 30,000 pounds of salmon, with most fish stocked as yearling smolts (six inches long) or as small fingerlings in the spring. Round whitefish are also reared at this hatchery.

Bath Hatchery is located one mile from the Village of Bath in Steuben County. The hatchery rears lake trout, brown trout and rainbow trout. All of the lake trout and many of the rainbow trout reared here are obtained from fish collected from Cayuga Lake. Annual production of all species is about 86,000 pounds.

Caledonia Hatchery, located in Livingston County in the Village of Caledonia, is the oldest hatchery in New York State and the Western Hemisphere. Caledonia Hatchery rears brown trout and rainbow trout. Virtually all of the two-year-old brown trout used in DEC’s stocking program for 13 to 15-inch trout are produced at Caledonia Hatchery. Annual production is approximately 170,000 pounds.

Catskill Hatchery is located in Sullivan County near the Village of Livingston Manor and near two of New York State’s fabled trout streams, the Beaver Kill and Willowemoc Creek. This facility specializes in rearing brown trout and it maintains a brood stock capable of producing two million eggs. About 115,000 pounds of brown trout are produced annually.

Chateaugay Hatchery is located near the Village of Chateaugay in northern Franklin County. This facility has a very diverse rearing program which includes Raquette Lake-strain lake trout, brown trout, rainbow trout and brook trout, including the Temiscamie x domestic hybrid used extensively in Adirondack Mountain lakes and ponds. Annual production is approximately 90,000 pounds.

Chautauqua Hatchery is located near the Village of Mayville in Chautauqua County. This is the only DEC hatchery currently raising pure-strain muskellunge, which are obtained from netting and egg collection on Chautauqua Lake, and in some years, other waters. Pond-reared walleye fingerlings and sauger are also grown at this hatchery. Total production is 3,300 pounds annually.

Oneida Hatchery is located in the Village of Constantia in Oswego County, on the north shore of Oneida Lake. The hatchery was reconstructed in 1992. The rearing program is focused on walleye, and includes egg collections from Oneida Lake (200–300 million eggs/year), and stocking of millions of walleye fry and up to 220,000 advanced walleye fingerlings (four to six inches). Experimental culture of rare or threatened fishes, such as round whitefish and lake sturgeon, also occurs here. Annual fish production is about 6,000 pounds.

Randolph Hatchery is located in the Village of Randolph in Cattaraugus County. This is a major brood stock facility which annually handles five to six million brook, brown and rainbow trout eggs. Annual production totals almost 100,000 pounds of fish.

Rome Hatchery is located in Oneida County about four miles north of the City of Rome. The hatchery is one of DEC’s largest, with annual production totaling nearly 160,000 pounds of brook, rainbow and brown trout. Hatchery staff play a major role in providing fish for airplane and helicopter stocking of remote waters.

Rome Fish Disease Control Center, also known as Rome Lab, is located on Rome Hatchery property. Staff maintain brood stock of disease-resistant strains of brook and brown trout, and maintain a laboratory where research activities and disease diagnosis can be conducted. Staff are heavily involved in testing numerous stocks of cultured and wild fish for the presence of parasites and pathogens.

Salmon River Hatchery, located in the Village of Altmar in Oswego County, is the mainstay of DEC’s stocking program for Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The hatchery attracts up to 500,000 visitors annually, many of whom come to watch egg collections from steelhead, coho salmon and chinook salmon returning to the hatchery. Annual fish production totals 120,000 pounds.

South Otselic Hatchery is located in Chenango County in the Village of South Otselic. The hatchery rears the entire statewide supply of tiger muskellunge, produces pond-reared walleye fingerlings, and rears small lots of wild, heritage-strain brook trout. Annual production is 15,000 pounds of fish.

VanHornesville Hatchery is located in southern Herkimer County in the Village of VanHornesville. The hatchery raises rainbow trout, with production totaling about 30,000 pounds.

The goal of New York’s fish culture program is to operate a modern, efficient system of fish hatcheries and annually produce and stock a variety of disease free fish. In 2015, 860,206 lbs of fish were raised and stocked from the state’s 12 fish hatcheries into approximately 1,200 waters. The number and species of fish stocked in 2015 can be found in the table below. In addition to various sportfish species, DEC raises and stocks lake sturgeon, round whitefish, and northern sunfish. These rare fish species were once native to New York State and an effort is currently underway to restore them to their native range.

Hatchery infrastructure projects funded by Governor Cuomo’s NY Works program have been undertaken at a number of hatcheries. These include:

  • The installation of new high energy efficient water boilers to heat the facility and production water at Chautauqua Hatchery along with a new ultraviolet water disinfection system;
  • A complete replacement of the spring dam wall with all new associated piping, valves, and distribution boxes at Rome Hatchery plus the installation of a water flow meter in the reservoir line;
  • The installation of new high energy efficient water boilers to heat the facility and production water at Oneida Hatchery along with new filtering machinery which will help immensely in the collection and removal of debris in the water intake line;
  • A new roof with energy efficient insulation on the main hatchery building at Salmon River Hatchery along with the restoration of 3 deep water wells to increase the water available for fish production;
  • The second phase of improvements were completed at Van Hornesville Hatchery and included new drainage lines and walkways, new blacktop on the access road, and a cement apron around the main hatchery building;
  • In 2014, 16 new large stocking trucks were purchased, in 2015 all the trucks were outfitted with new stocking tanks and aeration systems and have been used in both the spring and fall stocking seasons.

Annual Stocking Report By Species
(January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014)

Species

Less Than 1″

1″ – 4.24″

4.25″ – 5.74″

5.75″ – 6.74″

6.75″ – 7.74″

7.75″ Plus

Total

Number

Weight
(lbs.)

Number

Weight
(lbs.)

Number

Weight
(lbs.)

Number

Weight
(lbs.)

Number

Weight
(lbs.)

Number

Weight
(lbs.)

Number

Weight
(lbs.)

Coldwater

Brook Trout

463,305

7,831

28,699

964

4,410

10,844

190,201

51,310

697,459

60,105

Brown Trout

41,020

682

113,080

7,004

37,500

3,160

235,665

40,198

1,590,732

460,209

2,017,997

511,253

Rainbow Trout

71,025

474

25,500

1,419

77,150

6,581

301,996

77,200

475,671

85,674

Steelhead

638,850

23,549

137,500

9,546

776,350

33,095

Lake Trout

14,000

77

547,964

13,059

496,000

32,281

154,110

15,408

74,900

13,427

1,286,974

74,252

Splake

21,040

4,848

21,040

4,848

Landlocked Salmon

455,409

801

1,000

63

162,928

15,824

172,430

21,833

12,637

2,805

804,404

41,326

Coho

130,000

8,125

130,000

8,125

Chinook

1,969,790

22,607

1,969,790

22,607

Coldwater Total

3,014,549

32,472

1,485,093

54,183

915,488

67,392

573,049

77,439

2,191,506

609,799

8,179,685

841,285

Warmwater

Walleye

211,636,000

3,649

618,052

732

212,254,052

4,381

Muskellunge

438,000

16

14,160

18

26,900

2,363

479,060

2,397

Tiger Muskellunge

34,800

114

100,660

8,962

135,460

9,076

Panfish

500

100

500

100

Warmwater Total

212,074,000

3,665

667,012

864

128,060

11,425

212,869,072

15,954

Non-game

Lake Sturgeon

7,400

25

4,100

82

500

32

12,000

139

Round Whitefish

10,500

4

10,500

4

Lake Herring

144,670

2,824

144,670

2,824

RTE Total

162,570

2,853

4,100

82

500

32

167,170

2,967

Grand Total

212,236,570

6,518

3,681,561

33,336

1,489,193

54,265

915,488

67,392

573,549

77,471

2,319,566

621,224

221,215,927

860,206

Funding Fisheries Management

NYS Conservation Fund Advisory Board

The NYS Conservation Fund Advisory Board (CFAB) was established by law to make recommendations to state agencies on state government plans, policies and programs affecting fish and wildlife.

CFAB consults with and advises DEC about expenditure of Conservation Fund monies and ways to increase revenue to this fund. For more information, visit: www.dec.ny.gov/
about/566.html

Supporting New York’s Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources

Revenue from fishing and hunting license fees, federal funds and other resources is used to accomplish efforts to conserve, manage and protect New York State’s fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats; inform and educate the public; and provide opportunities for people to use and appreciate these resources.

Some recently funded projects include the installation of a universally accessible fishing platform on Wiscoy Creek in Wyoming County and the rehabilitation of the Upper Saranac Lake boat launch in Franklin County. The former hand carry launch on Forge Pond (Suffolk County) was also transformed into a modern trailer launch with a new concrete ramp, boarding docks and a separate launch area for kayaks.