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.
Nichole LeClair Terrill