Fish Tales: News From The Hatchery
Everyone loves a good fish tale! So here’s the latest news from the Friends of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery (FLNFH).
The FLNFH held their annual members’ meeting this past summer under the recently reconstructed pavilion at the picnic grounds. It was attended by 6 directors, 7 members of the Friends, and Ed Stege, who is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife project leader for our hatchery. The meeting was followed a delicious potluck brunch. (Hint: one more reason to attend.)
An election was held for board members with a slate that consisted of 2 existing directors who were standing for re-election and 2 members who were running as first-time directors. This slate of 4 candidates was elected unanimously and included Jeanie Beckmann, Jim Lyall, Russ Austin, and Pat Tritz. All of their terms will run until June 2021. Thank you to them and to all of the FLNFH board members.
A budget for Fiscal Year 2018 was presented with anticipated expenses of $7,930 and anticipated income of $5,705. The difference between the two will be covered with savings, but we will still maintain a positive bank balance.
One project will be completed in 2018 and is the creation and installation of signage for a new self-guided hatchery tour. There are 8 new signs at the hatchery, each with a locator map, which will now guide visitors around the lower hatchery grounds. Funding for this project was provided primarily by the Friends of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery. Kevin Mastin of Stray Horse Arts in Leadville provided creative support and donated the printing of 7 of the signs. The signs provide information and photos about the work done at the hatchery and its history. Topics include, among others, toad culture, fish production, hatchery history, and pipe history, etc. Come to check out these new additions!! They are worth a visit.
A second large project is intended to begin in 2019: the replacement of glass block in the historic hatchery building so that the original look of the windows and French doors will be replicated with modern, energy efficient replacements. This will be a long-term project requiring input from several agencies and fundraising by the Friends of the Hatchery. So stay tuned for this exciting new endeavor by the Friends and USFWS Isolation Building
The newest building on the hatchery grounds is now operational. It houses a unique strain of Colorado River cutthroat trout which were rescued from the South Fork of Hayden Creek during the Hayden Pass Fire, as well as their first year offspring. These are the only remaining representatives of “Colorado River cutthroat trout (lineage green) that had unique genetic markers similar to museum specimens taken in 1889. Precipitation runoff after the fire has since wiped out all remaining fish in Hayden Creek.” (Ed Stege, July 25, 2018, www.facebook.com/LeadvilleNFH/).
The hatchery staff will develop a brood stock with these individuals. The progeny of the brood stock will be released back into wild streams. This is one of several programs at the hatchery which have a mission to restore threatened or endangered species.
Hats Off! Just before Boom Days, 2018, the Friends designed and purchased an initial order of 12 baseball hats, most of which were traded to board members for a donation. The few hats remaining from this order were quickly acquired by attendees to Boom Days in exchange for donations. The Board wants to gauge what interest there is among members of the Friends for the second order of hats. The hats would be made available as premiums for donations of $15 or more
If you are interested in having one or more hats, please email your name, number of hats you’d be interesting in procuring, and in which of the two colors to their email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery email@example.com P.O. Box 1194 Leadville, CO 80461. 2018-2019 Board of Directors: Mark Cole- President Cheryl Wells – Vice-President Michelle Mueggler-Treasurer Judy Cole-Secretary Russ Austin Jeanie Beckmann Cindy Dunn Diane Grogan Jim Lyall Pat Tritz.
Visit their website or connect with them on Facebook.
By Ed Stege, Project Leader
It has been another busy year for the Leadville staff. Our cutthroat spawning season yielded 306,000 greenback cutthroat trout eggs that were sent to the Salida State Fish Hatchery for them to raise for recovery/reintroduction efforts in 2018 and 2019. Additionally, spawning of our Carr Creek Colorado River cutthroats produced ¾ million eggs that were sent to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for rearing.
This year we stocked around 140,000 catchable rainbow trout for mitigation and trade-off agreements with federal and state partners. These fish were stocked in Emerald Lake and Turquoise, Twin Lakes, Mt. Elbert Forebay, Clear Creek and Navajo Reservoirs.
We released 32 adult Wyoming toads and 44 toadlets in recovery locations near Laramie, Wyoming. Six of our adult toads were transferred to the USFWS Red Buttes rearing facility to be used as part of the captive breeding program. In July we received tadpoles from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and we are currently rearing 59 young toads during this winter. These toads will be adult size by spring and will be available for research and eventual reintroduction in recovery locations in 2019.
As mentioned elsewhere in the newsletter we completed construction of our new isolation building and the Friends/Hatchery project with the installation of new signage. Finally, there have been some changes in personnel with Danelle Lloyd transferring to the Allegheny National Fish Hatchery in Pennsylvania and the addition of Jordan Joseph as a Biological Technician.