“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Berkeley Springs in Morgan County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)

Ridge Fish Hatchery

Washington Heritage Trail

Ridge Fish Hatchery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, November 6, 2020
1. Ridge Fish Hatchery Marker
What was once West Virginia's only bass fish hatchery now produces nearly 70,000 pounds of trout a year.

Ridge Fish Hatchery was opened in 1931 through the influence of two local men: Vernon Johnson, Chairman of the Fish and Game Commission and state fish culturalist, Ted Fearnow. They selected the location along Breakneck Run because of its springs.

Brook and rainbow trout spend about 18 months at the hatchery before being stocked in nearly 30 different waters from nearby Cacapon State Park and Opequon Creek to Tomlinson Run State Park in the northern panhandle.

The life cycle begins with eggs arriving from other hatcheries in late fall. They are housed and fed five times a day in 16 hatcheries that still feed fry emerging from eggs on a pudding-like mixture of ground beef liver for the first month before switching them to commercial feed. The exceptional cold spring water requires this sturdier food source.

By mid-April, fingerlings are placed in outdoor raceways moving to the big, rock-walled pools by June where they remain for nearly a year. They are fed twice a day.

Flowing water
Ridge Fish Hatchery Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones, November 6, 2020
2. Ridge Fish Hatchery Marker
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is required for the hatchery. There is an impoundment dam for the springs and water from Breakneck Run. Once it passes through the hatchery, the water empties into Sleepy Creek and eventually, the Potomac River. Cold water holds more oxygen. Aerators are used to generate oxygen during warmer months.

Both dark brook trout and lighter rainbow can be seen in the pools. They often cluster head into the entry pipe because water there has the most oxygen. Trees surrounding the pools are oak and pine.

Operated by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Ridge Fish Hatchery is open daily from 8am to 4 pm.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsNatural ResourcesParks & Recreational AreasWaterways & Vessels. In addition, it is included in the West Virginia, Washington Heritage Trail series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1931.
Location. 39° 27.752′ N, 78° 18.708′ W. Marker is near Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, in Morgan County. Marker is on Fish Hatchery Road (County Road 38/10) just east of Valley Road (U.S. 522), on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12261 Valley Rd, Berkeley Springs WV 25411, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. West Virginia (Morgan County) / Virginia (approx. 1.2 miles away); Cacapon Mountain Overlook
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(approx. 1.8 miles away); Overlook at Cacapon State Park (approx. 1.8 miles away); Cacapon State Park (approx. 2.7 miles away); Cacapon State Park Playground Equipment (approx. 2.7 miles away); Cacapon State Park Picnic Grills (approx. 2.7 miles away); Welcome to Cacapon State Park (approx. 2.8 miles away); Oriskany Sand (approx. 2.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Berkeley Springs.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 23, 2021. It was originally submitted on November 7, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 71 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 7, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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May. 18, 2022