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Spring Fed Trout Hatchery
Had an opportunity to visit a privately owned Fish Hatchery (trout specifically) in SouthWestern Virginia last week. Travel South on I-81to the SevenMileFord Exit (about 30miles shy of the Tennessee border). Take a left and follow road out about 1 mile.
The hatchery was supplied by a creek, a second seasonal creek, and 2 springs. What amazed me was the abundance of aquatic plant life. I quickly counted at least 15 species in the "ponds". I'm poor at identifying plants but I saw something like Pennywort. Temperature of the water barely hits 70 degrees in the summer as it is fed by these cold water springs.
Talked w/ the fellow a bit who just purchased the place 13 months ago. Hasn't seen any wigglers disease in any of his trout. He uses no pesticides, herpicides, hormones,fertilizes in his processes. Occassionally, he takes a rake to the shores of the ponds to remove the plants by the bunches and dumps them on a compost pile. Doesn't really have much affinity for plants. He permits fishing, for a fee, on his "larger" (really quite small) ponds. Not sure how he finances the whole operation. Didn't ask. Not really any of my business. But he's living the life isn't he!
Anyway, I will make another trip to SWVA this year and will make sure to stop in and collect a few plants, after I've caught and paid for a fair share of trout. He pointed at one trout that went at least 3.5 lbs. If any wish, I'll lookup the name of the place and the owner's name. I've misplaced them for the moment.
Peter W O'Dwyer jnr
odwyerpw at capital_net
Upstate NY, where it was 91 degF Tuesday and 45 degF Wednesday.