|Whiterocks State Fish Hatchery
has been in operation since 1923. Located in the Uinta River
basin, Uintah County, it is operated by
the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources [Click
here to visit their hatchery web site].
The original hatchery produced about 35,000 pounds of cold water fish annually. The rainbow, brook, brown and cutthroat trout and kokanee produced at this hatchery were stocked in Uinta Basin waters, Strawberry Reservoir and elsewhere.
Hatchery Production Plan calls for improvements to the Whiterocks State Fish Hatchery to
increase production of cold-water sportfish for Utah’s anglers. A final
Environmental Assessment and Decision
Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact were signed April 30, 2004 to partially reconstruct the hatchery.
The Commission revised the Fish Hatchery Production Plan
and provided additional funding in 2006 to complete reconstruction by building new raceways
at the south end of the site. Annual production of the new facility is estimated to increase
to over 142,000 pounds. This aspect of reconstruction was completed in 2007.
Limited funding precluded building covers over the new outdoor raceways
(where most of the fish rearing occurs) as part of the hatchery reconstruction.
Positive effects of raceway covers built at the Kamas
and Fountain Green State fish hatcheries include
greater protection of infrastructure from the elements, better fish health, increased
protection from avian disease transmission, and reduced predation.
In 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
provided funding to construct raceway covers and add soffits beneath the building's eaves. Site excavation began in October 2009. The project was completed in 2010.
In 2012, the reconstructed hatchery produced 132,123 pounds of cold-water fish.
The Central Utah Project and other reclamation
projects created many reservoirs in Utah. These flatwater areas provide
for a variety of water-related recreation opportunities including
fishing. Most reservoir fisheries are heavily used and not able to
sustain themselves through natural recruitment, requiring management
programs dependent on stocking hatchery-reared fish. Fish stocking
demands in Utah for reclamation projects have been met in the past
through both State and Federal hatcheries. CUPCA identifies funding for
planning and implementing improvements to existing hatcheries and/or
the development of new fish hatcheries to increase production of
warm-water and cold-water fish for areas affected by the Colorado River
Storage Project in Utah.