Powder Mills Park is a popular natural area located a few miles southeast of downtown Rochester and is home to several miles of hiking trails, a downhill ski area, and great fishing. The park is also home to the Powder Mills Fish Hatchery.
The Powder Mills Fish Hatchery, also known as the Riedman Fish Hatchery or the Fish Hatchery at Powder Mills, has been in existence since 1933, only three years after the park was established.
Today, the hatchery consists of twelve very large concrete tanks containing trout in a variety of sizes.
In these 60-foot-long tanks, you’ll find brown trout and rainbow trout ranging from fingerlings to several years old.
The fish that are here will eventually be released from these tanks into the Irondequoit Creek. These fish often make their way upstream into Irondequoit Bay and Lake Ontario where they will be both great for fishing and for repopulating these waterways with trout.
Interestingly, one of the tanks is filled with brook trout. These trout aren’t released into the creek but offer a chance for visitors to see the New York state fish next to other types of trout.
Signage around the site offers a bit of information about the hatchery and the animals that are grown here. If you want to learn more about the site and what you are seeing, these signs really do a great job offering more information on several different subjects.
The tanks at the fish hatchery are located about 100 yards from the parking area, and visitors are welcome to walk around the tanks throughout the year. Visiting is totally free and a handful of fish food is only 25 cents, making it a fun and inexpensive thing for families to do in the Rochester area. (Make sure to bring quarters if you want to feed the fish.)
While not every tank contains fish that can be fed, many are open for visitors that want to feed the fish.
It’s worth noting that the number and even the location of the fish can vary based on the time of year that you visit. Fish are released into the creek several times throughout the year starting in April. Late March would be a great time to visit if you want to see the hatchery filled with fish.
In the fall and winter months, you’ll also find many trout in the two ponds adjacent to the hatchery’s tanks. While it’s definitely easier to see them within the tanks, docks at the ponds offer the chance to get a closer look into the fish-filled water.
For those wanting to talk to staff or watch them work with the fish, visit the hatchery in the morning or in the early afternoon for the best chance to seeing them there. However, the hatchery is open to visitors 365 days a year from dawn to dusk, so you can visit the hatchery anytime you’d like.
If you’re looking for other things to do while you’re in the area, Powder Mills Park is over 300 acres in size. There are plenty of neat spots to check out within the park, including a trail that heads into the woods adjacent to the parking area, so you can easily spend a good chunk of the day exploring this area after spending time at the hatchery.
Ultimately, for those looking for an activity that’s fun for both kids and adults alike, a trip to the Powder Mills Fish Hatchery is a great way to spend a bit of time in the Rochester area.
The Powder Mills Fish Hatchery can be found at 115 Park Road in Pittsford, New York.