Leadville Fish Hatchery Marks 125 Years on Saturday!
The public is invited to the 125th anniversary of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery this Saturday, July 26. A fun, action-packed schedule of events is planned.
The day starts at 10 a.m. in front of the main hatchery building for welcome and remarks. At 11 a.m. the hatchery building will be open for tours, with guides stationed both inside and outside toprovide information.
At noon, the party will move up to the picnic grounds where you can eat a BYO lunch or purchase a pulled pork sandwich plate with coleslaw and beans for $6 from the Leadville Lions Club. Stick around, because free cake, ice cream and lemonade will be served at 1 p.m.
Afternoon activities include a horseshoe pitching tournament, a demonstration of Tenkara fly fishing at Evergreen Lake, adjacent to the picnic grounds, and a presentation on the history and use of labyrinths. Fun for the kids includes face painting, a bean bag toss game, and trying their hand at a fishing “pond.”
At 4:30 p.m. down at the main hatchery building there will be a Victorian costume contest and local band Leadville Cherokee will play out the celebration, starting at 5:00 p.m.
Leadville National Fish Hatchery History:
Construction of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery began in 1889. Initially the hatchery supplied eggs and fingerling fish to streams and lakes throughout Colorado, the western U.S. and even to Europe and Japan.
Currently, the hatchery supplies 10 inch catchable trout to Turquoise Lake, the Forebay, Twin Lakes, and Clear Creek in Chaffee County. The hatchery is also the location of one of three populations of the endangered greenback cutthroat trout. The federal hatchery system originated as a way to ameliorate the negative effect on native fish populations from mining, logging, ranching, stocking of non-native species and over-fishing.
The Leadville National Fish Hatchery still plays a role in mitigating the impacts of these activities. Additionally, it has become a well-loved destination for historical tourism and out-door enthusiasts. Reunions, school functions and special events are often held at the picnic grounds.