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Troutlodge turns Rock Creek Hatchery into an R&D facility

Friday, October 9, 2020

Beginning in June of 2019, Troutlodge began the transition of its Rock Creek Hatchery, in Twin Falls, Idaho, from an egg production facility to a research and development site. After extensive planning, the facility is now equipped to simulate trials in a real farm scenario that will help resolve the most relevant challenges facing customers and the industry. This opportunity will provide insight towards solutions for challenges including regulatory issues, environmental conditions, rapid growth within aquaculture and increased product demand.

Rock Creek Hatchery boasts high-quality spring water with a flow rate of 220 L/s and constant inlet temperature of 13°C. With these optimal conditions, the facility supplies water to 27 concrete raceways and an outdoor juvenile rearing area. At the head end of the farm sits a large indoor tank room equipped with UV filtration, a degassing chamber and an industrial water chiller that allows for temperature control between 5°-13°C. The hatchery also serves as a source of the most up-to-date performance data collected on Troutlodge stock. This includes growth potential at various feed rates, hatch results from every individual egg lot produced by Troutlodge and the monitoring of progress generated from its genetics program.

“Results from these programs will be uploaded to our website on a monthly basis and will generate new opportunities to support our customers. By making our current stock and egg performance transparent and public, we demonstrate our superior genetics and display our commitment to being industry leaders,” the company said.

The transition of Rock Creek to an R&D facility has increased the company’s capacity for both internal and collaborative research projects. Several projects have already begun, each evaluating new emerging technology designed to improve product performance. Technology that includes rapid detection of embryonic oxygen consumption, used to select faster growing and more efficient fish and performance effects of micro-additives at fertilization.

“Having a facility dedicated to R&D is an invaluable resource and shows our commitment to continued improvements in product quality. Trout producers around the world will be particularly interested in our Standard Growth Profile work being conducted at the Rock Creek R&D facility. As the world leader in trout genetics, we feel that the performance of our stock should be highlighted and transparent for everyone to see. To facilitate this, we have initiated an ongoing program that tracks our stock’s performance for growth and feed conversion rates (FCR) over accumulated thermal units. This work will be conducted on all Troutlodge strains and will give trout producers around the world insight into the genetic potential of our trout,” the company said.

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