Wild Jobs: Hatchery Worker

By | December 1, 2012
From Xplor: December 2012/January 2013

Something fishy happens when hatchery worker Josh Gorman rolls into town.

Q: What does a hatchery worker do?

A: We grow fish. I work at Montauk Hatchery near Salem. We raise rainbow trout there. When the fish grow about a foot long, we load them into a special truck and deliver them to rivers and lakes.

Q: How many fish does your truck hold?

A: About 4,000 fish and 1,600 gallons of water.

Q: Wow! that’s a ton of fish.

A: Literally. The water and fish weigh about 16,000 pounds. With all that weight sloshing around, you can’t drive the truck like a race car. You have to drive slowly and carefully.

Q: Have you ever gotten stuck?

A: Once, at Busch Conservation Area in St. Louis. We were fully loaded, too. We tried pulling the truck out with a tractor but got stuck worse. A wrecker had to winch us out. It took three hours, but nearly all the fish survived.

Q: How many fish do you deliver in a year?

A: More than 350,000. We stock Montauk State Park, several Ozark rivers, and a bunch of lakes in St. Louis

Q: How did you become a hatchery worker?

A: I grew up fishing Montauk with my grandpa. When a job opened at the hatchery, I went for it.

Q: any insider tips for catching a Montauk-raised trout?

A: Use skinny, lightweight line. Our fish have sharp eyes.

And More...

This Issue's Staff

David Besenger
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
Tim Smith
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White