CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission staff at the Huntsdale State Fish Hatchery near Carlisle conducted the spawning of rainbow trout.

The process will lead to the next generation of stocked fish in Pennsylvania.

The process includes collecting reproductive material from 3-year-old female and 2-year-old male trout, disinfecting eggs to prevent disease, and storing fertilized eggs in incubators.

After about one month, the eggs will hatch and the tiny trout will live off of their egg sac for a short time before swimming and eating other foods at the hatchery. 

“The fish that we stock throughout the Commonwealth starting in February each spring attract millions of anglers every year to Pennsylvania,” said PFBC Executive Director Tim Schaeffer. “It’s a 24/7, 365 operation and it begins with today, the spawning of the fish.”

Most Rainbow Trout are raised for approximately 18 months at the hatchery where they will grow to an average length of 11 inches and weigh just over a half-pound before being stocked into public waterways across the state, mostly prior to the spring trout season which begins on the first Saturday in April.

“The eggs we collected today are tiny, but before you know it, they’ll be beautiful fish that are tugging on the end of your line all across Pennsylvania,” said Schaeffer.

Some fish, called brood stock, are kept at the hatchery for 2-3 years for spawning purposes before being stocked as large “trophy trout.” 

Spawning operations will happen every Tuesday morning at the hatchery throughout August.