Hatchery Hopes to Restore Fish Native to Lake Champlain

Tray of Landlocked Atlantic Salmon eggs which will become the brood stock to help restore future populations in Lake Champlain. Photo from White River National Fish Hatchery.

After being devastated by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, the White River National Fish Hatchery was closed and its decades-long Atlantic salmon restoration effort dropped. Five years and roughly $2.4 million later the hatchery is rebuilt and raising fish once again. This time their mission is to produce landlocked Atlantic salmon destined for Lake Champlain. Trays at the hatchery now hold nearly 20,000 landlocked salmon eggs. Once the eggs hatch in mid-January, the baby fry will be transferred to indoor tanks until summer when they'll move again to covered pools outdoors. In two years, they'll reproduce and their offspring will be released into the Saranac and Ausable Rivers and other Lake Champlain tributaries.