PHOTOS: Visiting the Fillmore Fish Hatchery

A pair of golden trout in a moment of stillness after Robledo netted them. Katharine Lotze/Signal

Kenneth Robledo, fish hatchery manager at the Fillmore Fish Hatchery, nets a pair of golden trout from an indoor pool at the Fillmore Fish Hatchery. The round tanks were originally made of redwood and used when the facility first opened in 1942. Eggs and small fish are housed inside in the round tanks until they're ready to be transferred to the outdoor raceways. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore
A pair of golden trout in a moment of stillness after Robledo netted them. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore
Trout breach the surface in a feeding frenzy after a hatchery employee tossed them some food. Fish are fed between three and 10 times per day, depending on their size. When fish get sick, medication is administered via the food pellets. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore
The hatchery raises trout from egg to a catchable size, and sometimes larger so trout can go on to become parents themselves. As fish grow, they're moved from inside tanks to the outdoor raceways. In the background, three of the eight employee residences. Employees live on-site in case of power or water failure. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore
Robledo shows how fish are placed in a truck for transport. Fish can travel in a truck up to seven hours. Hatchery employees cool the water to about 50 degrees instead of the usual 60 degrees to make transport easier on the fish. The Fillmore Fish Hatchery, along with the Mojave River Hatchery, supplies all of Southern California's lakes, and some streams and rivers, with varieties of trout. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore
Nearly grown rainbow trout swim in a raceway at the Fillmore Fish Hatchery. The hatchery keeps fish for about a year before releasing them back into lakes, including Castaic Lake and Pyramid Lake. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore
A blue trout swims among his typically colored extended family. Robledo says abnormally colored fish usually get picked on, and sometimes cannibalized, before they're full grown. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore
The outdoor raceways are protected from birds by netting. The hatchery's location in Fillmore was picked originally because of the natural springs there, but the drought has caused much of the water flow to dry up. The hatchery now uses four wells to supply its water. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore
A hatchery employee drives along the side of a raceway to feed the fish. The hatchery raises several varieties of trout, and occasionally helps to rescue steelhead trout that swim upstream from the ocean to spawn. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore
A flurry of small rainbow trout swim in a raceway. Employees periodically weigh and count fish after they've hatched to determine how many are at the hatchery. The Fillmore location, one of 21 active hatcheries in California, moves about 500,000 fish per year on average. Katharine Lotze/Signalmore

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This post was last modified on September 23, 2016 11:23 pm

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