Clearwater Trout Hatchery is undergoing a $900,000 renovation, according to hatchery manager Mark Green.
“Basically, what we’re doing is replacing the old concrete raceways with circular fibreglass tanks,” he said.
The six concrete raceways, which dated back to when the hatchery was built to raise salmon back in 1982, were old, too big, cracked and leaked.
They are being replaced by 10 20-foot circulars plus two 16-foot circulars.
“They’ll make things easier for us plus produce a nicer fish,” said the hatchery manager.
The circular tanks will produce more fish with less water, and will be self-cleaning.
The old raceways were 110 feet long and could hold up to 3,000 kg of fish – between 100,000 and 300,000 fish, depending on their size. The new tanks will increase flexibility in having smaller groups, which is the trend today.
Green noted that the hatchery already had several circular fibreglass tanks. They were installed in 2010 to replace several aluminum raceways.
The increased survival should increase production at the hatchery by about 100,000 fish to 3.4 million per year.
Clearwater Trout Hatchery produces rainbow trout, eastern brook trout and kokanee.
The hatchery presently employs seven full-time employees plus three auxiliaries.
Because of the construction project, the facility will be closed until the end of September.
Green hopes to have an official grand re-opening for the renovated hatchery sometime in the fall.