Leadville News – February 7

Leadville Fish Hatchery Adds New Building


The Leadville National Fish Hatchery saw the construction of a new building in 2017/18 at its facility located southwest of Leadville Today. It will be used for special projects.

Did you see it going up last summer? Right from the start you knew it was going to be something different. Part of the foundation was square and deep. New hot springs? You wish!

And the location seemed a bit fishy right from the first brick! But if all goes as planned, come this summer, friends and fans will at least be able to peak in the window of the new building at the Leadville National Fish Hatchery.

“What we’re building,” explains hatchery manager Ed Stege, “is a two-room fish isolation building.”  

Construction on the project started in June of 2017.  And now that it’s complete on the outside, the work begins on the inside. In this exclusive time-lapse Leadville Today video, Stege explains the type of work the new building will allow fish biologists to conduct.


Now that the “isolation” building is complete, the next step is to install and plumb all of the fish tanks and then by this Spring they will bring the first cut-throat strain into the new facility.

“What this will allow me to do,” continues Stege, “is to bring in either fish or fish eggs or any other aquatic organism from the world, that has not been fully disease-tested.” From there, the wildlife is raised up until it passes a fish health inspection, and can then be moved out into the general hatchery population. It allows the Leadville hatchery to become further involved in developing important cutthroat brood stock and other native fish species in Colorado.  How cool is that?! Once again Leadville leads the way!

Ed Stege Fish Hatchery

Ed Stege shows off his lighter side as manager of the Leadville National Fish Hatchery during a Leadville parade.

“We can’t do anything with wild fish in the hatchery, unless we first try to do something with them in isolation,” the long-time local fish hatchery manager said, emphasizing the importance of making sure, “I’m not bringing a fish disease into the facility.”

The new building will have public viewing windows on the east side. However, the general public will not be allowed inside the building.

While the functionality of the new building is interesting, the design and attention to detail on this project certainly stands out. The intention was to integrate and match the historic landmark – the original hatchery building – that overlooks the new, smaller addition as well as the established runways located on the grounds.

The original hatchery building was complete in 1890, built by architects L.J. Hunt and John Gorham. For many of Leadville’s Pioneer days, it was the only thing standing in the area. Since then, it has become an integral part of the Leadville community, from the student outings to take advantage of the impressive educational tours the facility provides, to the miles of recreational trails that have been established and maintained, in part thanks to the Friends of the National Leadville Fish Hatchery.  In 1980, the original building was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Fish hatchery Building_Front

The Leadville National Fish Hatchery established in 1889 southwest of Leadville, is one of 70 hatcheries in the National Fish Hatchery System. It is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Photo: Leadville Today/Kathy Bedell.

It’s beautiful sandstone brick is stunning and the white trim makes its deep red color stand out all the more. The original building which turns 128 years old this year, stands as a testament to its solid construction, considering the many winters it has weathered in its home located inside the Mount Massive Wilderness area.

The Leadville National Fish Hatchery was established in 1889 and is one of 70 hatcheries in the National Fish Hatchery System. It is managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

There’s little doubt that a lot of effort was put into mimicking that same stone material and design in the new building which will be complete this spring. A job well-done for all. So be sure to come and see it for yourself at this Sunday’s Winter Fun Day at the Leadville National Fish Hatchery.

Nordic Panthers Qualify for State

The Lake County High School Nordic Ski Team headed to Aspen for a double day of racing on Saturday. The teams competed in a five kilometer mass start classic race in the morning. This was followed by a 3 kilometer pursuit skate race in the afternoon. The races climbed and descended the rolling hills of the Aspen High School Trails.

A trio of Panthers raced into the top 30 in the classic race for the boys. Joe Koch was 23rd, Conner Lenhard was 24th, and Sam Frykholm was 27th. Matt Koch had his best classic race ever and placed 38th. Zayden Tufte was close behind in 42nd. Jarrett Rongstad powered through the uphills to place 75th. Matthew Seibel recovered from an early fall to place 94th. The boys’ team was 7th in the classic portion.

Ariel Benney_Nordic Student_1_NevaSunday

Panther Ariel Benney rounds the corner in the Nordic Ski Race in Vail on January 20. Benney led the girls team again this week with a 11th place finish. Photo: Neva Sunday

“That was the best I’ve ever seen Matt classic ski,” coach Karl Remsen noted afterwards. “With that race, Matt joins Joe, Conner, Sam, and Zayden in qualifying for the state meet in both classic and skating.”

After a short break, the boys had to head back out on course for the skate portion. Since it was a pursuit start, the skiers headed off the line the same amount of time behind the leader as they finished in the morning. A motivated Koch (Joe) moved up three spots in the skate race with the 20th fastest split to place 20th overall. Lenhard maintained his 24th position, and Frykholm ended the day in 29th after the 28th fastest leg in skate. Zayden Tufte skied a consistent pace to place 44th for the day, and Matt Koch ended in 53rd. Rongstad had a strong skate leg to finish off the day in 76th. The boys team was 7th again in the skate portion, and they did pick up a few more points compared to their score in the morning.

“Normally we are a little stronger in classic, so it was inspiring to see the boys have a strong showing in the afternoon skate race,” concluded Remsen.

Zayden Tufte

Zayden Tufte finished a strong 8th place at the Steamboat Springs earlier this season. Go Panthers! Photo: Leadville Today/Robbie Seibel.

The girls team had a standout day as well. Ariel Benney powered through the classic portion of the day to finish 11th. Caroline Benney showed that she is rounding into form after battling illnesses by placing 15th. Molly Lenhard was right behind in 18th to have three Panthers in the top 20. Abby Holm showed her strength in classic skiing by placing 37th. Jackie Williams strode to 45th place and Hannah Holm placed 70th. The team was 5th in the classic race, just edging out Battle Mountain.

Coach Remsen mentioned that, “The morning was the best team effort we have had so far. It was fun to see the girls right in the mix with Steamboat and Battle Mountain.”

After such a good showing in classic, the team was excited for the skate race in the afternoon. Benney (Ariel) maintained her position well and ended up 12th for the day. Lenhard used her strength on the hills and finished the day in 19th. Caroline was next across the line in 21st for the day. Holm (Abby)placed 39th for the day and Williams was 48th. Holm (Hannah) moved up during the skate portion and ended the day in 65th. The team was 8th for the skate portion of the day.

“Hannah had her eyes set on picking off skiers during that skate portion,” said Coach Remsen. “It was fun to watch her go after the skiers in front of her.”

The team has a week off from competition before the final regular season race of the year in Vail on February 17.Loppet_Artwork

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