Burlington State Fish Hatchery
Address: 34 Belden Rd, Burlington, CT 06013
Hours: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm (7 days a week)
Tours: Self-guided or by reservation
The oldest hatchery, Burlington was constructed in 1923. Artesian wells and nearby streams provide all of the water necessary for the operation thereby keeping the electrical needs at a minimum and making this the State of Connecticut's most cost effective facility. Being near the top of the watershed ensures that land development will have little impact on its future operation. The hatchery produces Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Kokanee Salmon and Rainbow Trout for Fisheries Management Programs.
One unique fish culture project is the Brown Trout “Survivor” Program. It is intended to produce a strain of fish that is better suited to survive in the wild. Ideally the "Survivor" strain will behave like a wild trout, will be more temperature tolerant, will have better avian predator avoidance and will readily reproduce. Annually, the Fisheries Staff collects fish from the West Branch Farmington River that have survived for more than one year and each fall transfer these fish to the Burlington facility to be used as brood stock. The offspring of these fish are returned to the West Branch Farmington River to grow and spawn thus increasing the number of "Wild" Brown Trout in the river. While research continues on the effectiveness of the program, the initial information indicates the program is working. Prior to these efforts there were few “Wild” Brown Trout in the West Branch Farmington River. Now "Wild" Brown Trout catches are commonplace.
Unique hatchery improvements have been put in place to protect fish growing in the outside ponds. Fencing and overhead netting has reduce predation and increased the number of fish available for stocking while providing easy access.
The Burlington State Fish Hatchery is the sole producer of Kokanee Salmon fry which are stocked into Lake Wononskopomuc, West Hill Pond and East Twin Lake in support of the Kokanee Salmon Program. Additionally, all of the fingerlings for the "Sea Run Trout" Program are raised here and grown until spring when they are stocked out.
Content last updated August 2019