Welcome to the Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station. If you have questions, please contact the rearing station manager.
4250 E. 400 N
Howe, IN 46746
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., seven days a week, except state holidays.
Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station is a cold-water rearing facility designed to raise rainbow trout. Six concrete raceways were constructed in 1956 for the purpose of raising catchable trout for Indiana’s put-and-take program. Water is supplied to the facility via the Curtis Creek dam and groundwater pumped from wells. In 1981, four concrete circular tanks were installed for additional rearing space. Due to high iron content in the groundwater, an iron filter was also constructed at this time.
A mix of both surface water from Curtis Creek and groundwater pumped from wells is necessary to maintain a suitable water temperature and flow throughout the year. Well water maintains a consistent temperature of approximately 52°F and can be used to cool water in the summer or warm it in the winter.
- Trout Production
Fish roe (eggs) are removed from adult trout 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 for hatching, which takes approximately 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.
Historically, Curtis Creek performed the entire process of spawning on site. However, over the years, it became more economical to purchase eggs from outside sources and grow the young for stocking. Initially, Fawn River State Fish Hatchery would receive the eggs, hatch the fry, and raise the fish to 2-3 inches long before transferring them to Curtis Creek for continued grow-out due to the high iron content of the water. That role is now fulfilled by Bodine State Fish Hatchery, where fish can be held until they reach 4 inches long before transfer.
After being received by Curtis Creek in early summer, the trout are monitored daily by staff and put on a feeding program to reach the appropriate length for stocking. Trout are held at Curtis Creek year-round with most stocking occurring in April-May and additional stocking in October. These trout are stocked statewide through the efforts of staff from multiple hatcheries.
- Self-guided tours
Curtis Creek Trout Rearing Station offers tremendous fish-viewing opportunities year-round. The property is located within Pigeon River Fish & Wildlife Area, which boasts 11,794 acres of land, 529 acres of lakes and impoundments, and 17 miles of free-flowing river. The 38,000 plus rainbow trout that are held in the outdoor sunken concrete raceways year-round are accessible for viewing by all ages and offer a great chance to see these fish up close. The station is worth a stop on your next trip though Pigeon River Fish & Wildlife Area. Feel free to stop in and view the fish with your family on a self-guided tour. Larger groups of 10 or more may call ahead to schedule a tour with one of our employees.
- Volunteer Opportunities
Need a reason to get outside and move? You can volunteer alone or in small groups at this property. Some activities include trash pick-up, basic gardening, painting, and more. Call the property office for details.