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For 50 years, something's been real fishy here

May 11, 1997


Staff Writer

It was a "look and learn" - but don't fall in - experience for all ages who strolled through the Albert M. Powell Trout Hatchery's open house on Saturday for its 50th anniversary.

Hatchery Manager Wade Moore credits the half-century of operation not to the fish, but to the water.

"The hatchery has survived because the spring continues to put quality water out that enables trout production," he said. "The water is everything."

He said the water comes from a Beaver Creek Spring, a natural limewater spring.

There are 19 outdoor raceways with an average of 300 gallons of water flowing through them each minute.

This year the hatchery will hatch 600,000 eggs, to become approximately 253,000 stockable fish for Maryland waters.

Washington County waters will be stocked with 40,000 trout this year.

The attention didn't seem to affect the larger trout in the raceways as they nonchalantly glided by each other. But the smaller fish twisted, turned and jumped, as if celebrating the occasion.


Others were just plain hungry, and when children threw in handfulls of food pellets, the motion in the water sounded like a washing machine with its top open.

"I wanted my son to see the fish," said Daniel Grove, 36, whose last trip to the hatchery was when he was school-age. "I'm going to take him fishing when he gets older and I thought it would be interesting for him to see it."

Daniel Grove's son, Mark, who is 31/2, got to feed the fish as his father saved the moment on videotape.

"I'm amazed at the technology that goes into this production so guys like me can have a good time in the Spring," said David Albright, 35, of Hagerstown.

"The amount of time and care taken to grow these fish and their attention to detail is amazing - It's amazing how they recovered from the flood last year," he added.

Albright, a trout fisherman of 20 years, said he was a first-time visitor. He said he enjoyed watching the fingerling trout - fish the size of a finger - try to swim up the "waterfall" like salmon do.

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