Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery produces more than 80,000 brook, brown, and rainbow trout annually. Over 100 miles of streams and 10,000 acres with impoundments are stocked by staff and volunteers. When fishing season starts, fishers will often catch fish that have been born and raised at Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery. The stocking program at the hatchery is a 2-year program that produces trophy fish ranging in size from nine to twelve inches in length. At Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery, tanks within a building contain millions of eggs of three different trout species. As the fish become juveniles and grow, they are moved to outside raceways for the rest of their two year growth program.
Other than breeding and raising trout, Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery provides a variety of other activities the public. The Go Fish! Public Fishing program is scheduled from mid-April to late May with baits, rods, and reels provided. For 5 dollars per person, families, small groups, and individuals can fish in the ponds at Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery with volunteers on site to help beginners. Time Out to Fish is a long running program at the hatchery that gives smaller groups, senior citizens, and individuals with special needs the opportunity to fish for rainbow trout. The program has multiple sessions that run from the end of May to the end of July with baits, rods, and reels provided for just 3 dollars per person. There are also family fish days, offered for free, and grandparent/grandchild fishing days, 3 dollars per child and adults free, set aside for interested fishers.
An important aspect of the hatchery, besides educating the public, is the unique volunteer opportunities offered to those interested. There are stocking volunteers that help stock fish in area streams, lakes, and ponds with an estimated 70,000 trout. The hatchery is volunteer based and needs as much help as it can get. Volunteers can also “live the life of a hatchery aide,” meaning that volunteers can feed fish, take sample counts to determine fish size, clean ponds, and repair nests, aerators, which provide oxygen to the fish, and feeders. Every year, volunteer groups at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) volunteer at the fish hatchery by moving fish, cleaning ponds, and stocking supplies. Students can get hands-on experience with the fish by handling them to determine their species. For example, in one instance, rainbow trout got mixed in with brown trout in a raceway and students had to take nets and individually handle, identify, and separate both species of trout. Individuals looking for hands-on experience in aquatics will definitely gain knowledge and experience at Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery.
Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery also has trails that give individuals opportunities to explore nature, with a self-guided tour option. Brookside shelters are available for reservation for groups that want to spend a day looking at all the features of the hatchery. There are playgrounds for young children, and the different ponds in the area have a variety of duck species to view. Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery provides up close experience with nature and gives individuals an opportunity to fish, enjoy nature, and experience new opportunities in aquatics.