Trout Holding Tank with 4 lb. TroutThe rainbow trout that are planted in our area are raised in Friant, California at the DFG's San Joaquin Hatchery located at the base of Millerton Lake. Five different strains of rainbow trout are shipped to Kern River Fish Hatchery at different times of the year. Stocking Information.

The Trophy Trout Program beauties are held and fed until they weigh near 4 lbs. They are released into the upper Kern River areas only along with regular trout plants.
Trout Planting StockThe Little Kern Golden Trout restoration project began in 1972 with the discovery that the pure genetic strain of the Little Kern Golden Trout was being lost. In 1978 the Golden Trout Wilderness was designated and the Little Kern Golden was listed as a "threatened species".

Biologists tried to spawn wild Golden Trout on the stream, but since there were so few Golden Trout left and fish didn't spawn at the same time, very little progress was made. In 1983 a brood stock was begun at the hatchery. Five different strains of Little Kern Golden's have been raised at the hatchery. In 1994, 110 females produced 153,224 eggs resulting in 90,000 fish being planted in the Little Kern drainage. The project is nearing completion now that the Little Kern Golden has made a good recovery and been proposed for removal from the "threatened species" listing.
Hatchery Fish LoaderThe Kern River Hatchery fish loader was designed by farmers needing a fast, automated method of taking water out of ditches for irrigation. In the old days fish had to be loaded with nets by hand. A conveyer belt was used next until the fish loader was designed in the 1960's. The fish are basically vacuumed into the tank and flushed into the planting transport trucks.

Small Water Supply StreamThe hatchery water supply comes directly from the Kern River, originating from the snow pack north of Mt. Witney. Temperatures vary from 33° F, in the winter, to as high as 87° F during drought periods. The average summer temperatures range from 65° to 75° F. The small streams carry water from the river to tanks and back to the river

The fish seen in the streams, on the grounds, are escapees from the holding tanks. You may see some jumping out where the water enters the tanks. Although removed periodically, some do manage to find their way into the Kern River.
Trout Planting TransportTrucks equipped with fish tanks are the principal means of transporting fish. Tanks are constructed of fiberglass or aluminum and are insulated to control temperature rises. Trout cannot use oxygen in the water when metabolic waste (ammonia, urea, carbon dioxide) concentrations are high. The accumulation of fish wastes can be controlled by withholding feed before shipment and the use of ice to lower water temperatures to 48° - 50° F. Aerators are used to circulate water through the tank and gaseous oxygen is pumped into the water through airstones.

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