Fish: A trip to the Burlington trout hatchery
The boys and I enjoyed a trip to the Burlington trout hatchery on Sunday. Located adjacent to the Nassahegon State Forest, the water circulating through the hatchery's ponds and tanks is largely gravity fed, redirected from the large brook beside the complex, and then directed down from the higher ponds, through the tanks inside the hatchery building, through more ponds on the other side, until it is eventually returned to the brook.
The trout looked happy the day we were there, with the cold winter and nearly a foot of snow keeping the water nice and cold, just the way they like it.
Fish range in size from recently hatched fry, up to ten inches or so, the larger ones destined to be stocked in rivers and lakes around the state in coming weeks.
An apparently ravenous rainbow trout on display in a large tank was a big hit with the boys. The fish followed their fingers back and forth across the glass, ready to go after anything that moved.
Also popular were two mounts, one of a Kokanee salmon, a fish the state experimented with stocking for a few years, and above it an enormous brown trout.
This great fish was hatched at Burlington in 1961 and stocked in Wononscopomuc Lake in Salisbury after it reached 10" in 1963. By 1966, it had nearly tripled in size, to about 27". It measured three feet long and weighed nearly 27 pounds when it was found dead in July, 1969, either from natural causes or perhaps the stress of fighting to escape one last angler (they must have thought they had hooked on to a whale).