Hatchery Welcomes Public to Enhanced Visitor Experience
Supported by Governor's Adventure NY Initiative to Connect New Yorkers with Nature
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the completion of $150,000 in improvements to the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar. The improvements represent the first phase of renovations planned for the hatchery in the coming year.
"Lake Ontario and its tributaries provide world-class opportunities for salmon and trout angling," said Commissioner Seggos. "The Salmon River Fish Hatchery plays a pivotal role in raising and stocking millions of trout and salmon for our Great Lakes fisheries, as well as educating the public about DEC's role in making this fishery so successful. Supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo's statewide Adventure NY initiative to connect New Yorkers with nature, these improvements to the hatchery will enhance visitors' experiences, and more upgrades are on the horizon."
The improvements include new live fish displays, revitalized public areas, signage, and interpretive displays in the visitor center. In 2018, DEC will embark on an ambitious plan to renovate and modernize the 37-year-old hatchery. Each year, tens of thousands of people, anglers and non-anglers alike, visit DEC's flagship hatchery to learn about the State's Great Lakes Fisheries resources and witness firsthand the fish culture work that supports these premier fisheries.
The Salmon River Fish Hatchery specializes in raising steelhead, chinook salmon, coho salmon, and brown trout. Originally constructed to revive and enhance the fishery of the Great Lakes, this facility produces more than 2 million fingerlings (young fish 3-5 inches long) and 1 million yearlings (fish one-year-old or over) for stockings in Lake Ontario.
The Salmon River fishery generates more than $27 million in angler expenditures annually, and an additional $85.9 million is generated by anglers fishing the open waters of Lake Ontario and other New York tributaries to Lake Ontario each year. The trout and salmon raised and stocked by the hatchery are economic drivers behind this fishery-every dollar spent at the hatchery yields $125 in angler expenditures.
The improvements were announced in advance of Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov. 11, designated a "Free Fishing Day" by Governor Cuomo. Fishing is considered one of the most therapeutic outdoor activities, making it an excellent tribute to veterans and those currently serving.
Constructed in 1980, the Salmon River Hatchery requires significant improvements to maintain fish production goals. As part of the Governor's Open for Fishing and Hunting and Adventure NY initiatives, DEC plans to improve the hatchery's physical infrastructure and provide additional visitor area enhancements.
Plans for improvements include:
- A comprehensive engineering study to maximize energy efficiency and reduce water use and enhance fish production;
- Infrastructure upgrades including new windows and doors, a new heating system, backup power, cellular phone service, and a new fish ladder; and
- A reimagining of all interpretive and visitor areas for a seamless and enhanced visitor experience.
Senator Tom O'Mara, Chair of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, "So many of New York State's world-class angling opportunities originate with the Salmon River Fish Hatchery and these state investments will only serve to strengthen the hatchery's role in stocking our waterways, attracting anglers and visitors alike, and raising the public's awareness of conservation."
State Senator Patty Ritchie said, "The Salmon River Fish Hatchery plays a key role in supporting the world-class sport fishing opportunities our state is known for. From the raising and stocking of the world's most sought-after fish to teaching visitors about the environment and generating economic activity in our region, the Salmon River Fish Hatchery is there every step of the way. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Seggos for investing in the Hatchery and strengthening the future of angling in New York State."
Assemblyman Will Barclay said, "The Salmon River Fish Hatchery has made our area a world-class fishing destination. Anglers from all over the world come to fish on the Salmon River and on Lake Ontario. Fishing is a major economic driver for the area and has been important to our area's recreational activities. We are fortunate to have such wonderful natural resources, and the hatchery is a great complement to these resources. I am pleased that Governor Cuomo and the DEC recognize the importance of the hatchery system. The completed improvements and the upcoming renovations will improve the operations of the hatchery and, in turn, will result in the continued improvement of our fishery."
Under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Adventure NY initiative, DEC is making strategic investments to expand access to healthy, active outdoor recreation, connect more New Yorkers and visitors to nature and the outdoors, protect natural resources, and boost local economies. This initiative will support the completion of more than 75 projects over the next three years, ranging from improvements to youth camps and environmental education centers to new boat launches, duck blinds, and hiking trails. Read more about the Adventure NY initiative.
For more information concerning the Salmon River Hatchery visit DEC's website.