Fish Hatchery.In 1877 the legislature created the office of commissioner of fisheries, and D. B. Long was chosen by Gov. George T. Anthony to fill the position. In his report to the governor in 1878, the commisisoner,[sic] among other things, recommended an appropriation of not less than $2,000 for the building of a fish hatchery. The next legislature may have considered the recommendation an extravagant one, as they made no appropriation. From that time until 1902 the various commissioners made recommendations for and against hatcheries, and not until 1903 was anything done along this line. At that session of the legislature a law was passed authorizing the governor and fish warden to locate and establish a fish hatchery at some place which was well adapted to the propagation of fish, with reference to natural water supply, ponds, accessibility to railroads, etc. The law provided that the hatchery should be under the supervision of the fish warden, and also that no money should be expended on any such hatchery until there should be deeded to the State of Kansas, without cost to the state, at least 5 acres of land, which should have located thereon a stream or springs suitable for the propagation of fish, etc. The sum of $1,000 was appropriated by the legislature to carry out the provisions of the act. Pratt county made an offer of 12 acres of land, and individuals gave 3 acres more. This land, situated 3 miles from the city of Pratt, is well adapted to the purpose and fills all the requirements of the law. It was accepted and the hatchery located thereon in June, 1903.
For the purpose of enlarging the capacity of the hatchery the legislature of 1907 appropriated out of the license fund $3,200, with which 65 acres additional were purchased. This land is partially covered with propagation ponds. The equipment of the hatchery in 1910 included a building, which cost about $15,000, a distributing car, which cost over $7,000, and some other improvements. On Oct. 14, 1911, Prof. L. L. Dyche approved plans made by the engineering department of the University of Kansas for the new fish hatchery, which will cost about $60,000, and which, when completed, will be the largest hatchery in the world. These plans provide for 83 ponds, from one-third to one-half acre in size, all connected so that by different screens the fish can be separated according to size. The new plant will not be built on the river, as is generally supposed, but the water will be carried by conduit a mile and a half east to the upper end of the hatchery grounds. The slope of this conduit being less than the fall of the river, the water will be delivered at the hatchery grounds at a level somewhat higher than that of the river, thus placing the plant out of reach of floods. A concrete dam 500 feet long across the river forms the source of water supply. A system of driveways is provided for, and islands in the ponds will add beauty to the plant.
No accurate figures are obtainable of the number of young fish placed in Kansas streams, the reports showing the annual distribution to range from a few thousands to nearly three-fourths of a million.Pages 645-646 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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