A Danby Fish Hatchery

The Rutland Herald
Fingerling Trout to Be Placed In State Waters.

S. L. Griffith of Danby has notified State Fish Commissioner Titcomb that he will plant in public waters a considerable number of fingerling trout from a supply he is raising at his private hatchery. The trout will be a gift to the public.

Mr. Griffith became interested in fish culture a short time ago and built for his own use a hatchery at what is known as the “South End” lumber job. The “job” consists of a mill, store, boarding house and stables about two miles south of Danby village. The buildings are located near Otter creek, which at this point furnishes good trouting. On one side rises Danby mountain and on the other Mount Tabor, with just room enough between their feet for the river, mill buildings, the railroad, and the highway. In looking about for a suitable place for trout breeding Mr. Griffith decided upon this spot inasmuch as a large and never-failing spring above the mill could be utilized, and because vats built there could be watched by the mill hands.

Last fall a neat hatchery was built and supplied with troughs, screens, and the necessary appliances for bringing fry from the egg. Five vats were constructed in a line, the highest receiving water from the spring and transmitting it to the other four. By permission of state, several large trout were taken from the creek and at the proper time the eggs were placed in the troughs, where they, together with others purchased, were watched until they hatched. The venture was a success, and there are now in the troughs 50,000 fry leaving the sac. In the vats there are nearly 200 trout, ranging from eight inches in length to big fellows weighing three pounds. In one vat, where the largest trout are kept, there are 36 trout ranging from one to three pounds in weight. These are fed with the heart, lungs and liver of cattle. The composition is chopped fine, boiled and thrown on the water.

Mr. Griffith is a believer in the theory that a dozen fingerling trout in any stream will give better results than a thousand fry, and he will not plant any of his fish until next fall, when they will have grown to the length of two or three inches. When the required size is reached a part of the youngsters will be placed in Lake Griffith on Mount Tabor and a part will be placed in Otter creek, Nearly all the trout in the vats cams from Mr. Griffith’s lake on Mount Tabor, where they were caught with hook and line.

With the opening of spring improvements on the hatchery and grounds will be begun on a large scale. Water from a stream running from Mount Tabor to the creek will be brought to the mill and turned into over 30 new vats to be built near those constructed last fall. A pond below the mill, begun some time ago, will be completed, and into this the larger fish will be transferred. In the center of the pond it is intended to place a fountain, supplied from a large spring on Danby mountain over 500 feet above the level of the creek. It is expected that the fountain will throw a stream more than 100 feet in height. A 12-foot woven-wire fence will be built about the grounds and a house for a keeper will be erected on a hill overlooking the hatchery. When the improvements are completed Mr. Griffith will raise 500,000 fry a year. With a part of these placed in public waters the fishing in the streams in which the fingerlings are placed will necessarily be greatly improved.

A curiosity at the hatchery is a trout with two heads. The fish is about three-quarters of an inch long, and, though he is somewhat top-heavy, he manages to swim about as easily as any of his brothers. Under a microscope both heads are seen to be properly developed. As he is still in the sac it is not known whether or not he will be able to feed.