TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-The newest fish hatchery in the Magic Valley has gained national recognition from the National Hydropower Association. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the new Niagara Springs sturgeon hatchery was awarded the 2021 Outstanding Stewards of America's Waters in the category of recreational, environmental, and historical enhancement. The white sturgeon hatchery opened earlier this year as part of a cooperative operation between Idaho Fish and Game and Idaho Power Company at the Niagara Springs facility south of Wendell in the Snake River Canyon. “The sturgeon facility has us working in a partnership with Idaho Power unlike any of our other hatchery facilities” according to Kevin Kincaid, Niagara Springs Hatchery Manager, “with our other hatcheries we have an owner-operator relationship, but with the sturgeon facility we have a true partnership, which brings with it an excellent working relationship. We are honored to share in this award with Idaho Power Company.” The hatchery aims to raise 2,500 sturgeon a year to be released into the Snake River at various locations between just below the Shoshone Falls to Steck Park at Brownlee Reservoir. Hatchery specialists collect naturally-spawned eggs from the Snake River between Bliss and C.J. Strike Reservoir that are then taken to the hatchery to be raised and released. According to Idaho Fish and Game, white sturgeon are the biggest freshwater fish in North American with some historically weighing in at 1,500 pounds. The ancient fish also have a long lifespan of upwards of 100 years. They are found in Idaho in the Snake River, Kootenai River, and Lower Salmon River.

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