Work on the Caledonia Hatchery has Finally Begun

Caledonia Hatchery (585-538-6300), located in Livingston County in the Village of Caledonia, is the oldest hatchery in New York State and the Western Hemisphere. The hatchery rears Brown Trout and Rainbow Trout. Virtually all of the two-year-old Brown Trout used in NYSDEC‘s stocking program for 13-15 inch trout are produced at Caledonia Hatchery. Annual production is approximately 170,000 pounds.

Being the oldest hatchery in the western hemisphere, the main hatchery building is a historic landmark. Dating back to the late 1800’s, the building has needed serious repairs and updating. The building raceway dates back nearly 70 years. NYSCC sportsmen’s groups from Region 8 and across the state have strongly advocated for the revitalization of the hatchery and this building for a long time.  While it did not happen overnight, the NYSDEC has engineered a plan to update this hatchery building and also keep its historic significance. – Chuck Parker, NYSCC President

Glen Adams, NYSCC Member and Secretary of the Finger Lakes Conservation Council, reports the following actions are taking place after a three year lull  (referencing the photos):

At the Caledonia Hatchery they cut in a widened door on the south side of the building so they could get equipment in to remove the concrete raceways and install the new (3 year old) raceways. These raceways are where they rear the fry/ fingerlings. Some of the existing concrete raceways were crumbling, while other parts were so strong they needed a large jack hammer to remove.

In the second picture you can see some of the new raceways (blue fiberglass) on the left. They had been waiting for about three years on the asphalt at the hatchery, and have since been installed. It looks like some new ductwork is being installed above them for heat and maybe cooling as well.

Caledonia Hatchery Door Widening (Glen Adams Photo)
Caledonia Hatchery Duct Work Removal (Glen Adams Photo)

In the last Raceway removal picture the remaining old concrete raceways on the south side of the building are being removed so the final remaining fiberglass raceways may be installed.

Caledonia Hatchery Raceway Removal (Glen Adams Photo)
Caledonia Hatchery Raceway Removal (Glen Adams Photo)

Due to the construction and/or Covid-19 virus, I (Glen) was unable to enter the premises as they were closed to the public. So I cannot give an update on how far along they were as of June 10, 2020. What we see in the pictures is good news. I think that by this fall the Caledonia Hatchery, which has been the largest NYSDEC producing hatchery by weight of fish (NYSDEC), will back to full level production.

Over the last three years we have had to mark the sidewalk to see if any movement had occurred. They are now proceeding at a gallop in comparison!

I would like to thank the New York State sportsmen and women that were persistent in advocating for the Caledonia Hatchery. I would also like to acknowledge all the dedicated work of NYSDEC Division of Fish and Wildlife in this development, and finding the funding and engineering resources to complete this restoration of the Caledonia Hatchery.


Chuck Parker, President
New York State Conservation Council, Inc.

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