When the weather outside is frightful, and the garage seems so delightful, fish hatchery trucks have nowhere to go, so let it snow... But wait! Stocking trucks don't need to hibernate at the first sight of winter. They can be used to spread holiday cheer via fancy lights, oversized fish and employees wearing Santa hats. And this year in particular, we were feeling festive, even without much of the fluffy white stuff.
Fish hatcheries in Colorado sure do love parades because they all recently took part in festivities! First up was Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery, who was approached by the Delta High School Junior ROTC program to partner up for their hometown Parade of Lights. Dozens of students marched in front, behind, or rode on top of, the decked out truck proudly wearing uniforms.
The Leadville National Fish Hatchery was certainly lit up for participation in their local Parade of Lights, with actual snow on the ground too... the elevation is just above 10,000 feet! The hatchery has created so"fish"ticated floats for this annual tradition many times. This year, the truck was topped with the largest Greenback Cutthroat Trout you’ve ever seen and pulled a very bright boat shaped trailer steered by the Grinch himself.
Also on the Western Slope is the Grand Junction Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, who collaborated with the Upper Colorado River Recovery Program and the Palisade High School Endangered Fish Hatchery during two parades in the area. The Palisade high school is very unique in having an on-campus fish hatchery to raise endangered razorback suckers. The bedazzled Ouray-Grand Valley Unit fish truck was complete with a 6-foot LED "Rudolph the Razorback" on top, and students walked along passing out Colorado River fish cards to the merry crowd.
Not to be outdone by Colorado, the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery in South Dakota participated in the Spearfish Holidazzle Parade and then hosted their own week of events. During Hatchery Holidays, each afternoon the gift shop was open for holiday shopping, the historic Booth House was elegantly decorated and open for tours with music by local musicians, and hot cider and cookies were served. Also, over the weekend the Booth Society Friends Group had fire pits with s'mores available to the public and Santa stopped by!
Now the trucks have been tucked away for the season, the lights taken down. So we Fish You a Merry Christmas and a Reely Happy New Year!