Green Mountain Trout

The Rutland Herald
Silas Griffith to Enlarge His Trout Preserves at Mount Tabor.

The little fish hatchery experiment of Silas L. Griffith at “South End,” under the shadow of Mount Tabor in the town of that name, promises to amount to something more than the fancy breeding of trout as a pastime. If the plans now entertained by the owner of the hatchery and fish preserves are carried out there will be in Mount Tabor within three years the largest trout preserves to be found in New England.

The Griffith hatchery has recovered from the poisoning of 70 or more trout last fall ready to be stripped. Through the co-operation of the state authorities, and with some help from a Massachusetts hatchery, Mr. Griffith has been able to fill his breeding vats and to produce a fine lot of fry. He has now bought some land that controls the ravine and water course on the side of Mount Tabor, and is drawing plans for a new hatchery and fish pond.

The new hatchery will be situated about 40 rods northeast of the old one and a dam will be built 75 rods still farther northeast of the vats. The waters from the ravine are pure and much better adapted for fish culture than the waters at Plymouth, Mass. Here is a distinct advantage in an enterprise like this. The vats now standing are lined with plank, but the new vats will be simply earth-walled ponds four feet deep, 18 feet in width at the top, 10 feet at the bottom and 200 feet in length. There will be 10 of these fish vats running parallel with each other and descending one below another so that the water may be properly aerated.

It is proposed to keep 100,000 trout growing, a third of them one year old, al third two and a third three years old. By this means it will be possible for Mr. Griffith to send to market during each trout season 10,000 pounds of fish.

Four men can take care of the hatchery and preserves when in running order, and the cost of the new plant will not be far from $15,000. As soon as the weather permits Mr. Griffith will build two more double tenement houses near the hatchery and another house on the mountain, on the shores of Lake Griffith, for a keeper to protect the trout there. This lake, by the way, will figure in the experiments in the breeding line that are to be soon undertaken. The trout in Lake Griffith are short and plump, while the fish in Otter creek are long and rather slender. Both have a flavor that is known to local fishermen. The attempt will be made to cross these varieties in a way to get a standard form and weight without a sacrifice of flavor.

The system of feeding at the “South End” preserves consists of a mixture of sheeps’ “pluck” and flour middlings cooked by steam. There is already a farmer’s boiler for the purpose of cooking the food for the trout in the old hatchery. Besides the fish in the breeding vats there are half a million fry in good condition and about 12,000 fingerlings.

The “South End” hamlet, which is about three miles from Danby borough, is gradually taking on proportions. There are now a sawmill, store, blacksmith shop, school and chapel, and a score or more of tenement houses. It is destined also to have a postoffice, and, with it will come a railroad station on the Bennington and Rutland road. A mountain road from the hatchery to the lake, 1000 feet or more above, was built last summer, and the opening up of timberland and the development of the fish industry will combine to make the place feel that it has outgrown its colloquial name and aspire to a nomenclature that is on the map.