Sounds thrilling right? A fish hatchery!? But it was really a great way to spend an hour! Kind of crazy that we were in the car to get there and get back for almost longer than we were at the hatchery, but whatever, it filled the morning.
Sam loved looking at all the fish and it was really exciting when they jumped out of the water or made splashes in the water. The little fish that were huddled together in a big mass were quite hard for her to see so she was most interested in the full grown trout.
But besides fish we also saw a frog, many ducks, lots of bugs and a turkey feather that one of the rangers told us we could bring home. This was probably the biggest hit of the adventure.
Check out his mouth! No wonder they say don't put your fingers in the tanks!!
And then there was the frog that we scared so that it jumped into the tank with all the fish. I thought Sam was going to jump in after it she was so upset and thought is was going to be eaten. Probably will be but I wasn't going to tell her that...we just moved on! Not sure she is ready to witness a food chain first hand!
Definitely a successful field trip and one that I would gladly do again!
Do you have a fish hatchery near you? Have you checked it out with your kids yet? I would suggest giving it a try.
The Nitty Gritty!
Most fish hatcheries, at least the ones run by the state, will have some kind of ranger station or visitors center. Guided tours are provided but you have to call ahead first and some places only do them at certain times or to groups of a certain number. We didn't do a guided tour because most of the science involved would be WAY over Sam's head.
The ones run by the state may also have free hand outs for kids. We got a great sticker, coloring book, poster and fish facts book. These were all a huge hit.
The signs that you saw in the pictures can also be very helpful for parents that are just walking around with their kids. They have great pictures of what is going on in the tanks, information about the fish and rules about what not to do in certain areas. In some stages some fish actually need it to be quiet in order to feed. This was a rule that Sam really struggled with, so we didn't stay in that area very long!
These places also tend to be FREE! Which is a huge plus in my book!