Saturday, September 04, 2010

Labor Day Weekend, Day 2: Garrison Dam Nat'l Fish Hatchery

(See also Days 1-2: Jerrett's Birthday | Day 2: Audubon Nat'l Wildlife Refuge | Day 2: Garrison Dam and Power Plant | Day 2: Downstream Campground Rec. Area)

Located between the power plant and the recreation area is the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery.  The same extended family group that attended the power plant tour with us showed up to tour the hatchery, too, at the same time that we were there!  However, the nature of the fish facility is such that too big a crowd would be unwieldy, so one tour guide took their huge group in one direction, and the five of us got a tour guide all to ourselves!

Our tour guide was great, alternately talking to Susan and me like adults and to the girls as though she were a teacher (e.g., "Now why do you suppose we need to use a feather when stirring the fish eggs?").  And in the process, we learned a lot!  It seems that some fish species that were in the area before Garrison Dam was built now cannot get to and from their main feeding source because of the dam, so they need the hatchery's help.  The dam created a deep-water lake, but deep-water fish did not exist in the area beforehand, so the hatchery brought some in and helps to sustain them.  And officials at lakes across the upper tier of the continental United States require fish to stock their bodies of water for recreational fishing, so the hatchery raises and ships out many species of fishes for that purpose.  It was all very interesting!

We're s' good to pose.

In these long pools are numerous fish, one species per rectangular pool.  The orange containers overhead hold fish food, and a string hangs down from the feeder into the water so that the fish can bump against the string and make food drop down.  Clever!

I don't remember what each of these fish species is, but I do remember that none of them is the pallid sturgeon, a prehistoric and endangered species that the hatchery is working to protect and restore to viable numbers.  It's a crazy-looking fish that really does resemble images of fishes from books depicting life in the age of dinosaurs.

Now it's time for our next destination . . .


  1. Loved our tour guide! She was the perfect blend of informative and entertaining.

  2. The top photo of fish kinda look like Walleye. And the fish in the second one look like Northerns. But I'm not entirely sure. Just sayin'....