This building houses over 30 different species of freshwater fish native to New York State. The fish range from the primitive bowfin to the native Long Island brook trout. In the Turtle Alcove you will find our hatchling turtles. Can you match the young turtles with the adults outside? This building was named after Walter L. Ross II who was an avid trout fisherman and enthusiastic board member.
Dedicated in September 2001 and generously donated by his family, the Robert Koenig Memorial Pond houses brown trout and water lilies.
Trout eggs are protected from hungry predators and sunlight in the Hatch House. The eggs, taken in early November, hatch in late December. The fish remain here for about four months or until they are moved into the rearing pools. The rearing pools are intermediate pools between the troughs in the Hatch House and the large outdoor Trout Ponds. They provide the needed space for young trout to grow. The fish in these pools will move to the larger ponds within the year.
Refer to the signs on each pond for the species and their month of hatching. The water that feeds these ponds is 52 degrees year round. You’ll notice the nets over the ponds – these help keep hungry predators such as herons and ospreys from eating the trout.
The water in this pond comes from St. John’s Pond, located directly south of the Hatchery. This pond may freeze in winter, but can reach temperatures as warm as 80 degrees in the summer. Unlike trout, the fish in this pond can tolerate higher water temperatures. The inhabitants are varied, including largemouth and smallmouth bass, bowfin, longnose gar, channel catfish, common carp, grass carp, bluegills, pumpkinseeds, white and yellow perch, American eels, walleye, white bass, lake sturgeon, redhorse suckers, and northern pike.
This pond has the same water source as the Warm Water Pond. On sunny days many of the turtles will bask on the cedar logs. The various species include Blandings, painted, wood, eastern spiny softshell, snapping, redbelly, and common map turtles.
The round ponds hold brook or rainbow trout ranging from 1.5 to 2.5 years old. The round ponds are self cleaning; the water flows in at the side and drains through the middle.
Freshwater flows from our outdoor ponds and artesian wells into the Tidal Raceway, which then empties into Long Island Sound. Our “Catch & Keep” trout fishing takes place in the Tidal Raceway every Friday through Tuesday.
From this deck you can observe the tidal creek and the St. John’s Pond spillway and dam, where there was once an ice house. There are still many birds and animals which visit, make homes, and sometimes reproduce in the tidal estuary. Anadromous fish, such as alewives and white perch, move into this creek seasonally.
In this building, there are aquariums displaying some of New York’s smaller, native freshwater fishes, reptiles and amphibians. The “New York Amphibia ” exhibit is the largest living collection of native amphibians in the Northeast. Junior the snapping turtle, stolen from the Hatchery in 1998, has been preserved and is on display for visitors to see and learn his story. This building is named after Julia F. Fairchild, a local resident and leader in keeping the Hatchery open after the State wanted to close it.
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The Hatchery sells brook and rainbow trout for stocking purposes. If you are interested in purchasing trout, contact Steve DeSimone, Director, at (516) 692-6768. Trout pricing and delivery charges are subject to change. Please contact the Hatchery for the most up to date pricing. We’ll deliver a few dozen for backyard ponds or hundreds for sportsmen clubs. Place your orders early to ensure your preferred delivery date.