No Fish From Ship Creek Hatchery Until 2012
Starting next month, the brand new $96 million hatchery will begin growing fish like rainbow trout, Arctic char and grayling.
It could be an interesting year for local fishermen, at least the kind who like to fish in local lakes. They could find themselves waiting longer than usual for a bite because, for the first time in years, the Department of Fish and Game hasn’t stocked lakes in the Anchorage bowl with fish.
The reason is because a brand new $96-million fish hatchery on Ship Creek is due to start production next month.
Fish and Game officials say they will literally be growing fish like rainbow trout, Arctic char and graylings from eggs but it will take them a full year before the fish are released.
Hatchery director Jeff Milton says the fish that do hit local lakes next spring will be full grown and ready to catch. In fact, he says, they will be bigger than before because the new hatchery can help them grow year round.
“We have control of the water temperature and water quality,” says Milton. “We have control of the photo period in the building so we can tell them it's summertime for the entire year and they will want to grow and grow actively.”
But the goal isn’t just to make bigger fish, it’s to make more of them.
Once the hatchery is up to full production in about 18 months they’ll be producing close to six million fish. Hatchery officials are promising it will be worth the wait but in the meantime they are urging anglers to be patient.