Hotchkiss Species and Production
Currently the hatchery produces trout to fill needs for federal water developments projects throughout Western Colorado and Northern New Mexico.
Two years before actual stocking, fish management biologist advise the manager of the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery of the size and number of rainbow trout that are needed to stock each reservoir. Several factors are used to determine these needs: time of year, size of the reservoir, anticipated angler use; and available food supplies. The Hatchery Manager then develops a program for raising fish to stock in each reservoir.
Rainbow trout eggs are received for hatching at Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery from various sources throughout the United States. After the eggs hatch, the young fish are placed into concrete tanks in the hatchery building and fed special trout diets. Feeding is first done manually, and then automatic feeders take over. When the fish are 1-1/2 to 2 inches in length, they are moved to outside raceways where they grow to the proper size for stocking.
In fiscal year 2011, Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery produced and distributed over 750 thousand trout weighing over 135 thousand pounds to 25 different water locations in Colorado and New Mexico. Over 200,000 angler days of recreational fishing in Colorado and New Mexico and an economic value of over $10 million dollars are a result of the stocking efforts.
Last updated: March 1, 2012