Regional Offices > Pinedale Region > Pinedale Region News > Daniel Hatchery Busy With Cutthroat Spawn

Daniel Hatchery Busy With Cutthroat Spawn

March 26, 2021
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Daniel Hatchery spawns cutthroats with elementary students in New Meadows, Idaho!

Pinedale - The months of March and April are a busy time for Daniel Hatchery near the small town of Daniel, Wyoming, along the Green River west of Pinedale. The Daniel Hatchery is home to the only captive broodstock of Colorado River cutthroat trout in the state and this is the time spawning operations take place each year for this rare cutthroat.  

Once a week over a two-month time frame, crews sort fish and select 4 and 5-year-olds that are ready to spawn. Eggs are then collected from female fish along with milt from the males and mixed together to fertilize the eggs. By early spring, approximately 1,100 adult female Colorado
River cutthroat trout will be spawned.

New this year, the Daniel crew got to share their spawning operation virtually with two classes of elementary students over in New Meadows, Idaho. The mother of Daniel Hatchery Fish Culturist LeAndra Smith is a teacher there. LeAndra used her phone to record and describe the operation as it took place, which was then broadcast live in classroom back in Idaho.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department Fish Culturist LeAndra Smith fields a question from an elementary student in New Meadows, Idaho, as she provides a live broadcast of the Colorado River Cutthroat spawn at the Daniel Hatchery recently.

Bret Barngrover, superintendent of Daniel Fish Hatchery said the Colorado River cutthroat trout broodstock is capable of producing 400,000 eyed-eggs each year. The term “eyed-eggs” refers to the developmental stage of a fertilized egg when two characteristic dark spots, the trout's eyes, are visible.  Water temperature plays a big part in how quickly eggs develop and in Daniel’s cold 47 degree water it take 24 days for the eggs to develop their eyes enough that they are visible to hatchery personnel.  

“Eyed-eggs will be shipped to different hatcheries in Wyoming and sometimes other states where fish will be raised and stocked within our state,” Barngrover said. 

Once five-year-old fish are spawned at Daniel Hatchery, they are stocked in local southwest Wyoming waters for anglers to catch. Over the course of the summer, these 14 to 16-inch fish weighing 1-2 pounds will be stocked in places such as the Kids Fishing Pond and CCC Ponds in Pinedale, Marbleton Town Pond and Mountain View Pond.

- WGFD -

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