White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery
Northeast Region

A Photo History: White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery

"Under the authority of an act of Congress approved June 6, 1900, correspondence was begun with a view to the selection of a site for a fish-cultural station in West Virginia, and during the fall of 1900 and the succeeding year a number of localities in different parts of the State were examined by the Commissioner personally and by agents of the Commission. A site about two-thirds of a mile from White Sulphur Springs, Greenbrier County, was finally decided upon as combining the desired requisites for both trout and bass culture. Here was found a spring flowing 1,800 gallons per minute, with a temperature of 53° in August. Below the spring several small runs, with temperatures of 65° to 70°, can be utilized, which will augment the supply by about 5,000 gallons per minute. Land was available where buildings can be advantageously erected and well adapted to the construction of ponds below the springs, and railroad facilities are good. Accordingly a tract of 25 acres was purchased June 26, 1902, and the preparation of plans was at once begun."

Report of the Commissioner for the Year Ending June 30, 1902.


(click on images for larger view)

White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery postcard from 1911

POstcardpostcard back

R.K. Robinson, Sr. First Hatchery Manager at White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery

First hatchery manager

R.K. Robinson, Sr. and R.K. Robinson, Jr. ca. 1920-1921

First hatchery manager and child

Report from 1970 showing the date of purchase for the hatchery property (June 2, 1902) and the purchase price ($2,500).

Paper showing original purchase of hatchery

Excerpt from hatchery Annual report 1946. Notice in paragraph three that fish poaching was down that year due to the end of World War II and meat rationing.

1946 hatchery report

The Fearnow Fish Pail - these pails replaced the traditional 10 gallon milk container for hauling fish and included a built-in compartment for ice to keep the water cool.

Man loading fish in fish pail

Fearnow Fish Pails waiting to be loaded on railroad baggage cars called "fish cars". From 1881-1929 ten "fish cars" were custom built to transport fish across the country.

Fish pails stacked in front of train

Hatchery reared fish in the Fearnow Fish Pails being unloaded from the "fish car" and stocked in the stream.

Men stocking fish

Trout hatching troughs at White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery.

trout hatching pans

Hatchery Staff ca. 1965. From left Chet Ambrose (Hatchery Manager), Tom Smith (Assistant Manager), Miles Bittinger (Maintenance Mechanic) and unknown.

Hatchery personnel

Chet Ambrose (Hatchery Manager) leading a tour. Notice the fish raceways in the photo are now the parking lot in front of the Visitor Center.

Hatchery Manager giving a tour

Young children taking a tour of the hatchery building at White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery. ca. 1965

Young children getting tour of hatchery

Woman and young child feeding the fish in the new display pool.

Young woman and child feeding fish

The Hatchery Residence (ca. 1967).

Hatchery residence

The hatchery raceways prior to be covered. The building was added to keep predators from taking fish.

The raceways uncovered

Pete Stine (Hatchery Manager) showing rainbow trout eggs in the egg room.

Hatchery manager showing fish eggs

Tom Smith feeding the trout in the broodstock building.

Biologist throwing food into fish raceways

Hatchery Personnel ca. 1974. Back Row: Deke Clements, Pete Stine, Tom Smith and Orville "Shorty" Long. Front Row: Tommy Watkins and Paul Gaston.

Hatchery personnel

Orville Long (in water), Tom Smith (on land) and Deke Clements (on truck) loading the fish hauling truck. ca. 1975

Biologists loading fish truck

Tom Smith spawning rainbow trout.

Biologist spawning fish

Tommy Watkins servicing the ponds.

Biologist cleaning ponds

Deke Clements (Biotechnician) running sample counts on the rainbow trout.

Biologist weighing fish

Drilling the new well. ca. 1978

Drilling the new well

Warren Eubanks (Hatchery Manager)

Hatchery Manager

Hatchery Staff; from left Tommy Watkins, Kari Duncan, Grover Burns and Tina Watkins

Hatchery staff in front of office

The Program for the 100 year anniversary of White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery. June 3, 2000

100 year anniversary program

Dean Rhine (Hatchery Manager), Marshall Jones (Acting Deputy Director U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) and Mamie Parker (Acting Regional Director U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Region 5) at the 100 year anniversary celebration.

The 100 year anniversary celebration

Michael Whited (Biotechnician) counting and shipping rainbow trout eggs. ca. 2005

Biologist shipping rainbow trout eggs

Steve Smith (Maintenance Mechanic) spawning rainbow trout. ca. 2005

Biologist spawning rainbow trout

Tommy Watkins (Biotechnician) counting rainbow trout eggs using the Von Bayer method.

Biologist counting raonbow trout eggs

Exhausted organizers of the 1st Annual Freshwater Folk Festival (back row: Matthew Patterson, Steve Smith, Mike Whited, Tommy Watkins; front row: Nash Gatenby, Catherine Gatenby (Hatchery Manager), Mary Leb, Julie Devers, Rachel Hanna.

Festival organizers

Last updated: September 3, 2010
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