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4250 E. 400 N
Howe, IN 46746
COLDWATER FISH PRODUCTION FACILITIES
Welcome to the Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station. If you have additional questions, please contact the rearing station manager.
Hours: 8 am to 4 pm, seven days a week, except winter holidays.
Indiana has two coldwater fish hatcheries, Mixsawbah State Fish Hatchery at Walkerton and Twin Branch State Fish Hatchery at Mishawaka. Fish hatcheries have the facilities to produce fish from eggs and raise them to any desired stocking size. Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station is not a fish hatchery. A coldwater fish rearing facility is designed to raise trout or salmon from the fingerling stage to the desired stocking size.
Six concrete linear raceways were constructed at Curtis Creek in 1956 for the purpose of rearing 60,000 catchable trout for Indiana’s put-and-take program. The linear raceways were renovated in 1983.
In 1981, an iron filter and four circular ponds were added. This system is fed by well water. The circulars are used April thru June to hold the next year’s production fish. In June, the fish are transferred to the linears for rearing. Rainbow broodstock are held in the circulars from November to January. After eggs are taken, the broodstock are then transferred to another state fish hatchery for holding.
FROM HATCHERY TO REARING STATION
Fish roe (eggs) are removed from adult trout and salmon when the eggs are fully developed. The eggs are fertilized using sperm from male fish of the same species. The eggs are placed in incubating trays at the coldwater fish hatchery. Hatching takes place within 35 to 40 days. After hatching, the fry (newly hatched fish) grow by absorbing the yolk sac. After about 16 days, many of the fry are free-swimming and able to feed on a prepared diet. The fry are moved to small inside raceways.
Each day the young fish are fed a percentage of their body weight of a prepared fish food. When the trout and salmon reach fingerling size (about 2 inches), they are moved to outside ponds or raceways. At 3 to 4 inches (6 to 7 months), the trout being raised for put-and-take fishing are transferred to the Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station
The trout, rainbow and/or brown, are raised in six 10’ x 86’ linear raceways. The water source is Curtis Creek. The creek is fed from springs in the Pigeon River Fish and Wildlife Area and farmland which surround the rearing station. Curtis Creek flows through the raceways and empties into the Pigeon River. Well water is used to warm the raceway water in the winter and cool it in the summer. This blending keeps the water temperature within the range suitable for raising trout.
Trout are held at Curtis Creek year-round. They are fed a trout-salmon diet daily. One or two weeks before the opening day of the trout fishing season, selected lakes and streams are stocked with 7- to 11-inch trout. Because lakes do not have a closed trout fishing season, they are occasionally stocked in March or October