Since the early 1930’s Genoa has had gravel cold water rearing units serviced by an artesian well just south of the new office building location. The artesian water is a cool 52 degree Fahrenheit and is great for growing trout. In the early 1990’s these gravel raceways were replaced with buried fiberglass raceways. Unfortunately, during flood years they were inundated and undercut with water which made them unstable. Through an increased funding level in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Deferred Maintenance program, the hatchery was awarded a project to replace the fiberglass raceways with concrete raceways and headbox, and a poured concrete floor to replace a gravel floor. These concrete surfaces will also be much more bio-secure, allowing us to properly disinfect the rearing units and building between year classes of fish. The building will then be dedicated to the production of coaster brook trout. The new facilities will allow us to go from egg to stocking without exposing them to any of the other recovery and restoration programs that we currently have ongoing at Genoa. This will give them their own fish health certificate as well, allowing importation to other state partners without the risk of any fish health concerns into their receiving waters. Other improvements to the water delivery system including modifying the artesian well to increase water flows to 350 gallons per minute from 150 gallons per minute by adding a submerged pump in the existing well. This will also increase fish health by reducing fish metabolic products and increasing water quality. Liquid oxygen is also added to the water to increase fish health and reduce free iron concentrations that are inherent in artesian water in our region. We look forward to starting the next batch of coasters in their new digs early next year!
By: Doug Aloisi