Today, staff and at the Huntsdale State Fish Hatchery near Carlisle, Cumberland County (Penn Township) conducted the spawning of Rainbow Trout. The process includes collecting reproductive material from 3-year-old female and 2-year-old male trout, disinfecting eggs to prevent disease, and storing fertilized eggs in incubators. After approximately 28 days, the eggs hatch and the tiny trout will live off of their egg sac for a short time before swimming and eating other foods at the hatchery.
Most Rainbow Trout are raised for approximately 18 months at the hatchery where they will grow to an average length of 11 inches and weigh just over a half-pound before being stocked into public waterways across the state, mostly prior to the spring trout season which begins on the first Saturday in April. Some fish, called brood stock, are kept at the hatchery for 2-3 years for spawning purposes before being stocked as large “trophy trout.” Spawning operations will happen every Tuesday morning at the hatchery throughout August.
In addition to raising trout, the PFBC also raises several warmwater fish species at the Huntsdale State Fish Hatchery, including Hybrid Striped Bass. The fish are raised in ponds until they reach lengths of approximately 6 inches, when they will be stocked into several medium and large-sized lakes across Pennsylvania this fall.