Hatchery Demolition 2021

The club stopped raising Atantic salmon from eggs in 2018 because of the uncertainity of the dam as the first  photo shows.  Flow through the hatchery could not be guaranteed since none of the water flowed over the dam at low river levels.   We needed a certain water level (head) in the impoundment in order to operate.  The hatchery had become a liability for the club so plans were made in the summer of 2021 to demolish the structure.  

Harden Furniture built the structure for the club in 2010 and the club operated it as a hatchery until 2018.  Atlantic salmon eggs were bought from a fish hatchery located in Maine.  Previously, the club opperated a hatchery located in Ava from 2006 to 2010.  
Since 2018 the club has been getting Atlantic salmon fry from the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station.  The club transports the salmon fry from Vermont to the stocking locations in large fish tanks.  The water is oxygenated on the journey and checks are made during the trip to keep the disolved oxygen and water temperature within limits.

We are grateful for the use of the tractor provided by John Shannon.   Thanks go also to Scott who  operated the tractor.  Tom Pritchard from Cluster 13 will make use of the recyled material.  We are also grateful for the  generosity of Harden Furniture and especially Mr. Harden.  Stories will be told in the future of the adverture all of us have had in our quest to restore Atlantic salmon to their ancestral waters.  One chapter is closed, another beckons.

The dam at McConnellsville
The dam across the East Branch of Fish Creek in June 2021.  None of the water goes over the dam, lowering the level of the water impounded by the dam.  Most of the water goes through the dam in the middle.
Inspection of the roof
Club members are examining the roof of the hatchery to see what we were up against.
Inspection of the hatchery
Dick and Paul looking at the structure to see how to remove it.  With disuse mother nature started to take over the hatchery.
Hatchery cleaned out
Tom using a screw gun to remove parts of the hatchery.  It was a lot of work to remove the supports for the hatching tanks.  When removing screws did not work a sledge hammer and shear brute strength did the trick.

Sawing the roof in half
The club rented a saw to cut the roof in half.  Jim is shown here making the cut while a chain is being attached to one of the rafters.
Hatchery demolished
With the use of the tractor the roof was removed from the raceway.  The pressure treated 2x10's will be recycled.  
A visitor
When we were all done we got a visitor who wondered perhaps what we were doing on his territory.