HAGERMAN, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - On this week’s Day Trippin, we are off to the Hagerman national fish hatchery. It’s a great place to take friends and family to learn about how steelhead and rainbow trout are raised to provide more fish to catch in Idaho’s rivers.
Hagerman National Fish Hatchery is easy to find along the thousand springs scenic byway, just east of the town of Hagerman on highway 30.
You can visit the hatchery 7 days a week and take a self-guided tour. There is no charge to visit the hatchery. Larger groups such as scout groups or school groups should call ahead and reserve a tour with the hatchery staff.
When you arrive at the hatchery, start by looking at the viewing pond outside near the entrance. It’s always a highlight to see white sturgeon in the view pond as well as large rainbow trout.
Inside the hatchery, folks can learn how rainbow trout and steelhead are raised from eggs to tiny fingerlings. The hatchery raises 1.5 million steelhead each year. The fish are raised to a size of 6-8 inches before they are trucked to the Salmon River and released near the Sawtooth Mountains for a 900-mile journey to the Pacific Ocean.
The fish stay in the ocean for at least one year and then return to the Salmon River as adults. It’s always a thrill to catch a big steelhead. They can reach 12-15 pounds or more.
About 130,000 rainbow trout are raised at the hatchery each year. The trout are stocked in local ponds, including the fishing ponds available for public use all around the hatchery, and in other locations in the magic valley. Bring your fishing pole if you’d like to do some fishing. There also are rest rooms and ample space on outside lawns for a picnic.
For more information, contact the Hagerman National fish hatchery at 208-837-4896.
Day Trippin’ is brought to you by Jack’s Tire and Oil and Let’s Ride Suzuki.