Trout Preserves

The Rutland Herald
Monday, June 13, 1898.
Work of Enlarging the Hatchery of S. L. Griffith, Mount, Tabor

The Bennington and Rutland road will soon begin building a railroad station at what is known as the south end in Mount Tabor. It will be called Griffith’s station. The ground has been graded and the now station will stand near the hatchery and trout preserves of Silas L. Griffith.

A good deal of work has been going on of late at the hatchery. An artificial well is being sunk to furnish water for the vats and ponds in case the two mountain streams and spring now used as a source of supply give out. An ice house, with a capacity of 500 tons, and refrigerator, have been built and work on an addition to the trout hatchery, 60 feet by 20, will begin this week. The latter building when complete will be 100 feet long, permitting the setting of 30 more hatching troughs, with a capacity of 75,000 eggs each. The total capacity of the building when enlarged will be 3,000,000 eggs.

The work on the new earth vats for trout is also being pushed forward. There are now at the preserves 15,000 trout, yearlings and older, 50,000 fry, and a large number of fingerlings. The owner gave this year 50,000 fry to the state and received from the state preserves at St. Johnsbury 10,000 fry. He will receive 35,000 fry from Massachusetts this week. There are at the Griffith preserves 10 earth vats 150 feet long and 12 feet wide, and within a week water will be turned into 30 more earth vats, 30 feet by 6. Some 15 more vats, 18 feet by 9, made of plank, complete the present outfit.

A building for cooking food for the trout is to be started this month. There is now consumed at the preserves 400 pounds of trout food per week. Next year the number of earth vats will be more than doubled, when there will be four acres of vats with a capacity of 100,000 trout. It will then take 2500 pounds of food to keep the fish in good shape, and they will be the most extensive trout preserves and hatchery in the United States.

The greatest difficulty in vat-fed trout has been found to be the loss of the peculiar flavor that makes the mountain brook trout such a delicacy. The present experiment at Mount Tabor is a new departure in the matter of feeding. The food adopted consists of sheep’s pluck, wheat middlings, cornmeal and salt, all ground up and cooked by steam. The feeding of 15,000 trout, down at Mount Tabor each afternoon, affords a lively sight, and some of the beauties will turn complete somersaults in the air as they rise and take the food.

About 100 trout are daily caught three miles from the hatchery, in Lake Griffith on Tabor mountain, which is 2300 feet above sea level. The best of these fish are transferred to the preserves below.