Auburn Fish Hatchery
Auburn Fish Hatchery
P.O. Box 130, 2430 Fish Hatchery Rd.
Auburn, Wyoming 83111
: (208) 225-3457
Located 10 miles west of Grover, 3-4 miles on State Highway 237,
then follow the signs
Built on Webster Creek in the Caribou National Forest, the Auburn Fish Hatchery provides fish for anglers in waters across Wyoming. The hatchery is surrounded by the West Hills and Caribou Mountains and is actually located in Idaho! It is operated by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department through a mutual agreement with Idaho and the US Forest Service. When the hatchery was originally constructed in 1941, access to this area was only through Wyoming. This site was chosen due to its high quality water source. Visiting the hatchery will give you the unique opportunity to view fish culture in progress as well as enjoy beautiful scenery.
What do people who work at the hatchery do?
At the Auburn hatchery three fish culturists are responsible for egg care and incubation,fish rearing, fish stocking, and care and maintenance of the hatchery. Someone must be present at the facility 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to monitor fish and egg production. The primary responsibilities of the hatchery include the incubation, shipping and hatching of eggs and the shipment of fish to rearing stations throughout the state. The hatchery raises Kokanee Salmon, Snake River Cutthroat, Splake, Brook, Rainbow and Brown Trout. Close to a million fish a year are produced here.
Hatchery management is just one of the many functions of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Not all waters in Wyoming are stocked with hatchery fish. A fisheries manager must consider habitat first to manage fish successfully. Fish are commonly stocked when habitat conditions don't allow natural recruitment, such as in many lakes and reservoirs. Most fish, approximately 85 percent, are stocked in lakes, ponds, and reservoirs and the rest are stocked in streams.
Why are the raceways circular?
Auburn was one of the first hatcheries in the nation to experiment with the use of circular raceways. They found these raceways conserve water and allow more fish to be raised in a smaller area. The spray bar aerates the water as it passes beneath the bar giving the fish more oxygen to breathe.
The Auburn Fish Hatchery is home to the Snake River cutthroat broodstock. A broodstock is the group of adult fish that provide eggs and sperm, or "milt", for rearing in the main hatchery. Eggs may also be transferred to other hatcheries around the state.
Spawning at the Auburn Fish Hatchery
Spawning is the process of collecting and fertilizing the eggs from adult fish. At the Auburn hatchery, the Snake River cutthroat is spawned, usually beginning in April and continuing into late June. The broodstock annually produces 3-4 million eggs per year. After spawning, the eggs are then prepared for incubation. Incubation is the period of time it takes for eggs to develop and hatch into fish. For the Snake River cutthroat this process takes approximately 35 days at the water temperature of 48 F.
Water temperature at Auburn affects the growth rate of eggs. Cool water allows them to grow slow, where as warm water causes faster growth. With spawning occurring over the period of two months, Auburn must ship eggs to other hatcheries, depending on their water temperature, to ensure all eggs hatch at approximately the same time. Another reason eggs are shipped to other state hatcheries is no single hatchery can raise all the fish of one species for one year. For example, 3-4 million eggs are collected for Snake River cutthroat, the hatchery uses about 70,000, so the additional eggs are sent elsewhere to be raised and stocked in waters. Eggs are also shipped to other states and agencies in trade for fish that are not reared in Wyoming, such as catfish, walleye, bass, sunfish, shovelnose sturgeon, pike and crappie.
Trout fishing near the hatchery is available at the Salt River Access Areas along Highway 89.