Ritchie Provides $1.4 Million For Upgrades to Salmon River Fish Hatchery

Patty Ritchie

April 24, 2019

Funding will Enhance Visitor Experience, Improve Efforts to Populate Local Waters

State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing she has secured $1.4 million for the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in the Oswego County Town of Altmar to not only enhance the experience for its tens of thousands of visitors each year, but also help the hatchery spawn fish to populate local waters.

The Salmon River Fish Hatchery supplies fish for more than 100 local, public waters including Lake Ontario. Each year the hatchery stocks those waters with 3.5 million trout and salmon species.

A significant portion of the funding secured by Senator Ritchie, $750,000, will be used by the hatchery to build a new fish ladder, which provides a direct route for the fish from a nearby open brook to the hatchery itself.  The fish are able to swim up into a collection area, where the hatchery gathers the fish for spawning purposes.

The funding also includes $150,000 for a new fish crowder in the collection area. After the fish come up the ladder and enter the channel, the crowder brings the fish directly into the hatchery for spawning.

"New York State is known for its world-class fishing opportunities and the Salmon River Fish Hatchery plays a critical role in ensuring that to be true year after year.  From growing and stocking the very fish anglers dream of catching to educating guests about the fish, waterways and environment, the Salmon River Fish Hatchery is not only a tremendous resource for our region, but it also generates significant economic activity in our region,” Senator Ritchie said.

“These investments into the hatchery, and its spawning efforts, are ensuring the facility’s strength and future for the anglers of today and the generations of anglers to come.”

The remaining $500,000 of funding will be used to upgrade the hatchery’s visitor’s center.  Hatchery officials are still in the planning process, which includes visiting other hatcheries to help determine how the funding can best be used to highlight the center and educate the visiting public.

“It is because of the Salmon River Fish Hatchery that we have become one of the nation’s premiere fishing destinations.  The more we can attract anglers from all over the world to the Salmon River and Lake Ontario, the more they will see the beautiful natural resources we have to offer.  Investing in the hatchery will enhance local efforts in increasing fishing-related tourism and that will directly benefit our local economy in Oswego County.  I am glad that Senator Ritchie has secured funding for the hatchery and look forward to seeing the upgrades,” New York State Assemblyman Will Barclay said.

“The Salmon River Fish Hatchery has been vital in making Oswego County an angler’s paradise—drawing anglers from across the globe. It has an economic impact of nearly $86 million dollars on the communities near the waters it stocks. Continued investment in its future is an investment in our region’s future and Oswego County cannot thank Senator Ritchie enough for recognizing the hatchery’s importance to all of us,” Oswego County Board of Legislators Chair Jim Weatherup said.

“The Salmon River Fish Hatchery’s impact on Altmar, Oswego County and beyond is simply incredible.  Anglers come to our communities because of what this facility does. In making sure the hatchery has the tools it needs to ensure fishing in Oswego County, and neighboring counties, is some of the best in the world, we are ensuring anglers continue to come to our region to find that trophy fish and allow our local businesses to thrive at the same time.  We owe a big thank you to Senator Ritchie for her efforts to help our hatchery lead the way here in New York State,” Oswego County Legislator, District 2, Milferd Potter added.

This funding is for the second phase of improvements at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery.  In 2017, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the completion of the first phase, which included new live fish displays, revitalized public areas, signage, and interpretive displays in the visitor center.