Are you a sports fisherman? Do you and your children spend an occasional warm weekend afternoon at the local fishing hole drowning worms? Have you ever fished with friends at a well stocked pond and reeled in a trout big enough so that you didn’t have to exaggerate when you brought it home? How about eating fresh trout at your favorite restaurant? If any of these situations sound familiar, you really must visit the Montebello State Fish Hatchery to see where most of the trout in Virginia originated, and what they look like before they are big enough for you to catch and enjoy.
The Montebello State Fish Hatchery, one of nine fish cultural stations operated by the Fisheries Division of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, is the main supplier of trout for Virginia’s various fishing programs, growing in excess of 30 tons of brook, brown, and rainbow trout each year. This amounts to about one million trout that are released into the state’s rivers each year. Montebello was originally a private, commercial hatchery, purchased by the state during the 1970s. All the trout from the hatchery are reared in thirty-three outdoor raceways. All of the lower raceways are available for public viewing.
Fishing is a popular sport in Virginia for both natives and visitors. Thanks to hatcheries like the Montebello facility, the state keeps the lakes and streams well supplied with fish. While the Montebello Hatchery is the smallest of the Virginia hatcheries, its location near the Blue Ridge Mountains attracts more visitors that the state’s other hatcheries. A visit to the hatchery is an enjoyable educational experience for the entire family, but especially for the youngsters when they get to see what the baby trout look like. If you have questions, the hatchery’s staff is always available to help.
The hatchery is located just 25 minutes from our Virginia cabins. It’s proximity to Crabtree Falls make the combination perfect for a day’s outing.