If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I have a son who is a fishing freak. Unfortunately, no one else the family is as enthusiastic, so the poor lad must console himself with visits to fish hatcheries. (When the weather finally warms, we will go a-fishing again).
This time of year, New York State is stocking the rivers, streams, and creeks with trout and other farm-raised fish. So fish and hatcheries are on our minds. We’ve visited the Van Hornesville Fish Hatchery, and had been wanting to check out the hatchery in Rome sometime. We got to see it sooner than expected! I found the hatchery in Rome quite by accident. I was just driving along Route 365 (a beautiful highway and pleasant to drive) and before my eyes was the all familiar wooden NYS Parks sign with yellow lettering. I pulled into the small park on the right hand side, where a gentleman was fishing in the stream. A nature trail followed the stream into the woods a-ways. The children wanted to explore, but it was too muddy and cold. We crossed the road and paid a visit to the newly-hatched trout in Rome.
In all honestly, hatcheries don’t float my boat (so to speak). But I am a mother of two young sons who are budding naturalists. And my daughters love nature, too. So we ventured around the area, checking out each and every pool of the swarming fishies.
Most of the pools held fry or very small fish: scads and scads of Brown trout and Rainbow trout. My son wanted to see walleye, but the hatchery was out. We did get to see some tremendously large Rainbows in a small pool. Imagine catching one of these!
We entered a building, and guess what– more fish! Mostly trout, and some in glass tanks, but a small tank held two Muskellunge. What strange-looking fish! They were shy and the tank was dark so I didn’t get a good picture. I did manage to stun some Rainbows with my flash (sorry, fish).
There were a lot of other fish. Some of them were very well done. Back outside, we startled a duet of crows on the edge of one of the pools– someone got to fish today! There were seagulls and osprey, too. The osprey were especially bold, for osprey. They kept their eyes on us, but when we appeared to be moving away, they swooped down closely. One of the employees told us that the osprey are especially fond of trout, and are especially good at fishing! It is nice to see that the State feeds the birds so well!
It was cold on this day, and windy, so we didn’t stay much longer. At the very least, it was a good panacea for my fisherman son– to stave him off a few more weeks til warmer, fisherman’s weather sets in.