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Visit to Genoa Natnl Fish Hatchery
I visited the Genoa National Fish Hatchery today. It is 3 miles
south of Genoa on Rt 35 in Western Wisconsin right next to the Missisipi.
The hatchery is close to the Bad Axe River (or as Ray Wolff put it ... a
20' wide stream.)
A couple of things bothered me about the hatchery: Their main
ponds were almost dry with a few 1-2" deep channels of water coursing on
the bottom. These were populated by lots of small fish which looked like
baby pickerel to me. There was a open concrete drainway leading out from
the pond to a pipe with like a 1/4" deep, a foot wide stream of water in
it. I found about a 100 or so baby pickerel trapped in this raceway
unable to move after being dumped in there by the water rivulets. They
were flopping around on the concrete. They are probably dead now after
the 85F day it was today. I didn't know what to do there ... Should I have
gathered the fish and dumped them in another pond? Or should I have
gathered them and put them in the tiny rivulets where they would survive
for another few hours? There was no one around either (the doors to the
offices were wide open). I didn't know if it was legal or appropriate for
me to even touch the fish, so I left them alone.
They had one concrete raceway filled with fish (looked like baby
bass about 4-5" long). They were crowded! So crowded that the water looked
black and I could not see the bottom of the 2' tank. The water was being
continously circulated but talk about bass being treated like herring!
There was a transport truck with a big tank on the back nearby. So, they
were being transported soon. The hatchery must experience a lot of losses
due to the way they crowd the fish. Is this standard practice?
But, I got to see a real live hatchery for the fish time. It was
fascinating even though I took the "self-guided" tour.
Sajjad Lateef ~ <;))>< ~~ ~~ <http://www.eecs.uic.edu/~slateef/>
sajjad at acm_org ~~ ~~ <;))>< ICQ# 13114451