So. Ute’s invited to volunteer at Hotchkiss fish hatchery

courtesy Hotchkiss NFH
courtesy Hotchkiss NFH
courtesy Hotchkiss NFH
courtesy Hotchkiss NFH
courtesy Hotchkiss NFH

Established in 1967 as part of the Colorado River Storage Project Act, Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery (NFH), helps mitigate fish losses by stocking an average of 650,000 trout (about 140,000 lbs), into various reservoirs of the Colorado River Storage Project in Southwest Colorado and Northwest New Mexico. These reservoirs include: Blue Mesa, Crawford, Heron, Lemon, McPhee, Ridgway, Nighthorse, Silverjack and  Navajo.

In addition, the hatchery provides mitigation fish to the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) for the Animas-LaPlata River/Blue Mesa Project, and under Indian Trust responsibilities to the Southern Ute Indian Reservation.

Always looking for volunteers, NFH extend a personal invitation to Southern Ute tribal members to volunteer and help with our year round fish production.

This as an opportunity for young college age individuals to get hands on experience, and for the Hotchkiss NFH to get needed help. More importantly, tribal member volunteers would extend our partnership with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe beyond our annual contact with their Fisheries Biologist and Wildlife Division Staff during fish stocking time on the reservation.

All rainbow and brown trout produced at the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery starts with eyed eggs.  These 14 day old fertilized eggs are delivered to the hatchery from the Crystal River State Fish Hatchery in Carbondale, Colo., the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery in Saratoga, Wyo. and the Ennis National Fish Hatchery in Ennis, Mont.  Since the hatchery has a small crew, all staff members, including volunteers, help with every stage of trout production, from egg incubation to fish stocking.

One day a volunteer may be counting eggs, the next day she or he may be stocking fish. Volunteers not only help with fish culture, they also assist with vehicle, equipment, building and ground maintenance, school tours and help with the annual kids fishing derby.  The hatchery has a 28 foot camper to house a volunteer.   

If you think you would like to become a tribal member volunteer at the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery contact David at:

David Oviedo: 8077 Hatchery Road, Hotchkiss, CO 81419

Phone: 970-872-3170; Fax: 970-872-3643; Email: david_oviedo@fws.gov

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