From the second week of September through mid-October, Randolph Fish Hatchery staff collect close to 5.5 million eggs from broodstock brook, brown and rainbow trout and ship them out to other New York State Department of Environmental Conservation hatcheries to be reared, then stocked.
After egg quotas are met, broodstock (adult fish kept to provide eggs) are stocked in waters in Western NY. Fingerlings, young fish measuring 3-5 inches long, are generally stocked in the fall. Older fish, six to nine inches long, are called yearlings and are stocked in the spring. Annual production at the Randolph Hatchery totals almost 100,000 pounds of fish.
When construction of the present-day Randolph Fish Hatchery began in 1934, the remains of a Columbian mammoth were discovered. The Columbian mammoth is an extinct species of mammoth that inhabited the Americas as far north as the Northern United States and as far south as Costa Rica during the Pleistocene epoch. Today, the tusk and skull are on display at the Randolph Library.
The Randolph Fish Hatchery is located in the Village of Randolph in Cattaraugus County at 10943 Hatchery Road, one-half mile west of Route 394. Follow signs from the Route 86 for the Steamburg or Randolph exits.
The hatchery is open from 8 am to 4 pm daily. For more information call (716-358-4755).
Photo courtesy DEC.