NC State University / College of Veterinary Medicine

 Table Rock Fish Hatchery

TRH Pond
 Table Rock Building  Table Rock Troughs

   The Table Rock Fish Hatchery is operated by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and is located near Morganton, NC on Irish Creek in the Catawba River Basin.  Water is gravity fed from the main reservoir for the hatchery on the creek through four indoor troughs that hold freshwater mussels.  Water from a 1-acre production pond is also mixed with the reservoir water in the trough to increase temperature and food availability. Because mussels not indigenous to the Catawba River Basin are cultured there, an elaborate scheme was put in place to prevent potential escapement of mussels. 

   Initially, mussels are held in 8-inch square, stainless steel cages of 0.5 or 1-mm mesh.  Water is delivered into the cages which contain a layer of substrate in which the mussels will bury.  As the mussels outgrow the cages, they are released into the trough where mesh dividers keep individual batches of mussels separate.


 TRH cages TRH cage with mussels  TRH mesh dividers



Conservation Aquaculture Center at Marion, NC

Marion Pond  marion shed  Container of Mussels at Marion Shed
   The Marion Fish Hatchery is another facility operated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) which we use in partnership with them to rear freshwater mussels.  In 2007, we set up a small storage shed at the base of the dam of the dam on the lower pond at the hatchery.  We connected the shed to a pipe running through the dam and put a few mussels in tanks in the shed to evaluate the potential of that pond to facilitate growout of mussels.  Good growth and survival of those mussels led to the NCWRC converting a storage shed on the side of the pond into the new Conservation Aquaculture Center.  This 25' x 50' building is divided into two rooms.  Half of the bulding is dedicated to the growout of rare fishes and to the propagation of freshwater mussels.  The other half of the building is dedicated to the growout of mussels. 
 New Marion culture facility  Marion Before  Marion After construction
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