Regional Offices > Sheridan Region > Sheridan Region News > Golden trout spawning finishes at Story Fish Hatchery

Golden trout spawning finishes at Story Fish Hatchery

June 28, 2018
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Sheridan - Story Fish Hatchery personnel and volunteers recently completed the tenth successful year of golden trout spawning at the facility. It is the only hatchery in the nation that maintains a genetically pure population of golden trout for egg collection purposes.

Golden trout are native to the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California, but were transplanted into Wyoming’s Cook Lake in Sublette County in 1920. Eggs from this wild population and later, a population in Surprise Lake near Pinedale, were collected for many years until a captive brood stock population was created at Story Hatchery in 2007.

Story Hatchery’s water supply closely mimics the water temperatures and conditions of spawning golden trout in the wild. In 2009, the first successful captive spawn of golden trout occurred with 47,000 eggs collected from 147 females. The collection has increased over the years and this month, approximately 350,000 eggs were collected from close to 350 females. Eggs raised at Story supply all of Wyoming’s egg requests and several other states as well. In Wyoming, 133 high alpine lakes are managed for golden trout, with 14 of those waters in the Cloud Peak Wilderness.  

“Eyed eggs will be shipped to the Daniel Hatchery in July to hatch and rear for stocking,” said Story Hatchery Superintendent Steve Diekema, about the recent egg collection. “The fish will then be stocked via helicopter during the summer of 2019. We send the eggs to the Daniel Hatchery because of their cold water. We don’t want the fish to get too big or we can’t use the tanks on the helicopter very efficiently.”

Diekema said the fish will grow over the next year to approximately 3.5 to 4 inches before being stocked in Wyoming waters.

“We want a big enough fish to survive but at the same time we don’t want them too big or we can’t put enough fish into the stocking tanks and the helicopter has to make extra trips to stock a lake,” he explained. “This size range has shown to provide good survival after stocking while still allowing us to utilize the space in the helicopter stocking tanks to maximize the number of fish we stock.”

- WGFD -

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