02 May 2010

Kootenay Trout Hatchery

I took a little wander up into B.C. and stopped by the Kootenay Trout Hatchery. The drive up was really lovely as we are still getting snow and the Kootenay Rockies were gleaming with fresh fallen snow and pastures are turning into green velvet carpets.

I always stop in at the hatchery any time I'm in the area because it's a very nice little campus and there's no telling what you might see.

The Kootenay Trout Hatchery raises approximately 2 million trout, kokanee salmon, char and white sturgeon annually and provides research facilities for biologists. Lakes throughout British Columbia are stocked with these rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout to enhance recreational fishing opportunities. White sturgeon are also raised here as part of conservation programs for the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers.

At the entrance to the hatchery there is a moat with trout swimming in it. Some of them are REALLY big. This was  the first time I've been that the water wasn't clear,  algae was floating on the surface. Clearly temps are rising.

Inside the facility is chock full of displays and information.  The photo below is of  young brook trout in a display aquarium. The trout were lovely but the fascinating thing, to me, about this photo is that it was taken practically in the dark without a flash. Oh, the marvels of digital technology. The camera I was using has a max ISO of 3200 which is what made this image possible.

Your tour is self guided which I like. The main room in the facility is what they call the "trough" room. It's kind of like a trout nursery, each of these troughs has thousands of tiny fish swarming in them.

But, the main reason I always stop in is because you never know what wildlife you may find on the grounds outside. There is a lovely pond on the west side of the facility that form time to time will have a variety of birds. This particular day all there were only a few mallards paddling around but I have seen osprey, heron, eagles and hawks. I was there smack dab in the middle of the day which isn't prime time for viewing or photographing wildlife. This because I spent the morning over at Kikiomun Provinvcial Park. I'm still working on the images I collected at the park. Still, I always like watching the ducks. I just never tire of observing wildlife.

The grounds are lovely even if for just a stroll and a picnic and there are some very nice aspen standing about. I was able to make this image of lichen on aspen which struck me as extraordinary.

Lichen on Aspen by Kinsey Barnard
Lichen on Aspen by Kinsey Barnard

If you're in the area and want to check it out, the hatchery is located just a few miles off highway 3 on Wardner/Fort Steele Road bewteen Fernie and Cranbrook. It's open 365 days a year eight to four.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

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