Meadville Tribune

March 27, 2013

Education, family fun name of the game at annual hatchery open house

Meadville Tribune

LINESVILLE — The State Fish Hatchery’s annual open house is April 6 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and thousands are expected to attend to shake off the winter blues and get excited about the upcoming fishing and boating season.

Although the Linesville hatchery and its walleye spawning process are the focal points of this event, participants will also be able to browse through numerous exhibits and displays to learn more about the state Fish and Boat Commission and other partner agencies.

Participants will be among the 2,000 to 3,000 people who pack the buildings and grounds to see demonstrations on filleting, preparing and cooking fish and much more. Participants will listen to biologists discuss electrofishing and how they can tell the age of a fish. Kids will learn casting and angling techniques at the kids’ casting area. Participants will see favorite fish species in the hatchery’s 10,000-gallon viewing aquarium and make their own “fish prints” on paper or t-shirt. Boating safety and safety equipment can be discussed with local law enforcers. Reptiles and amphibians will be on display. Sessions will be held on fly tying and rigging a basic rod and reel.

Demonstrations and exhibits will be held in the visitor center in the upper level of hatchery building; in the hatch house in the lower level of hatchery building; at the viewing tank in the visitor center; at the conference room at the visitor center; on the waterfront behind the hatchery building; at the pond behind the hatchery building; at the maintenance building beside the raceway.

Demonstrations are scheduled on a rotating basis to allow visitors to see all of the demonstrations during their visit. Times will be posted and announced. Check the schedule near the main doors of the Visitor Center or at the site of the demonstrations.

Demonstrations will include:

- The Walleye Spawning Process: Watch the staff collect and fertilize eggs at the hatch house.

- Filleting and Cooking Fish: Learn how to fillet and cook a fish at the maintenance building.

- Electrofishing: See equipment and hear how fish studies are done on streams and lakes at the pond.

- How Old is This Fish?: Determining the age of a fish by reading its scales at the visitor center.

- Fly Tying: at the visitor center.

- Live Reptiles, Amphibians, Invertebrates: Look. Listen. Touch? At the visitor center and pond area.

- Fish Prints: Make a paper souvenir of your visit or a $3 fish print t-shirt at the visitor center.

- Casting: Get instruction and practice your fly rod and bait rod casting skills at the waterfront.

- How to rig a rod and reel: Learn how to tie a hook to your line and other basics at the visitor center.