The Experimental Hatching Project

On Saturday, December 19, 2009 the club moved its spare hatching tank into the spillway of the McConnellsville dam. The club  conducted an experiment over the winter to see if the water quality in the West Branch of Fish Creek is suitable to hatch Atlantic salmon.  About 3000 Atlantic salmon eggs was placed in our old hatching tank and the fish did really well.  On July 11, 2010 the fish was removed and placed in the West Branch of Fish Creek

McConnellesville Dam

The spillway is to the left of the dam as shown above.  The tank used water from the pond formed by the dam.  The flow of water was controlled to provide about 5 gallons a minute through the tank.

The spillway with the club's tank

Here is what we found out.

  In December, 2009 a  recording thermometer was placed in the water above the dam at McConnellsville.  A graph of the water temperature follows.

Temperature of the mill pond at McConnellsville

Harden Furniture, who owns the dam and the land on both sides of the West Branch is in favor of building a hatchery below the dam.  It remains to be determined if we can get the required permits since the site in question is in the flood plain. 

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