What's New

Celebrating the Rebuilding of the Loa Fish Hatchery: A Milestone for Utah’s Wildlife and Angling Community

On May 30th, 2024, Sunrise Engineering had the privilege of participating in an extraordinary event hosted by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) at the Loa Fish Hatchery. This informational and celebratory gathering marked a significant milestone in the rebuilding of the Loa Fish Hatchery, an essential facility for Utah’s fish production and wildlife conservation efforts.

A Brief History and the Need for Rebuilding

The Loa Fish Hatchery, originally built in 1936, was once the crown jewel of Utah’s fish hatcheries, with the capacity to produce the most trout among the state’s 13 hatcheries. Unfortunately, it was closed in November 2014 due to an infestation by the invasive New Zealand mudsnail. The age and deterioration of the facility rendered it ineffective to remove the snails, necessitating its closure to prevent the spread of this invasive species.

During the 2023 legislative session, the DWR received the crucial funding to rebuild the hatchery. This effort was pivotal as the closure had significantly decreased fish production and stocking throughout Utah, placing a strain on the remaining hatcheries.

Sunrise Engineering’s Role

In 2019, Sunrise Engineering, in collaboration with MHTN Architects, was contracted by the DWR and the Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) to conduct a programming study and concept design for the new Loa Fish Hatchery. Our team is honored to play a critical role in the programming, concept design, and construction of the new facility. We also provided public information services to ensure the community was well-informed and engaged during the commencement of the project.

The New Loa Fish Hatchery

The newly designed Loa Fish Hatchery will be a state-of-the-art facility with modern equipment and materials, capable of producing 350,000 pounds of fish annually. It will be the most productive and cost-effective hatchery in Utah, equipped with a secure water source, advanced hatchery building, and raceways. The facility is designed to mitigate the risk of disease and aquatic invasive species. Once this hatchery is operating, it will allow other hatcheries to operate at their designed production levels and enabling the DWR to meet the needs of current and future anglers.

The Event

The event on May 30th was a tremendous success, featuring speakers from the DWR and various state government agencies.  Senator Derrin Owens and Representative Carl Albrecht were among those who spoke. They shared insights about the old hatchery and the critical importance of the new facility. Fishing contributes $1.1 billion and adds 7,562 jobs to Utah’s economy. With projected increases in the number of anglers, the reconstruction of the Loa Hatchery will boost fish production by 30%, ensuring the state can meet the growing demand.

Our very own Robert Worley, PE, Senior Vice President at Sunrise Engineering, spoke passionately about the meticulous design and construction planning that is going into this new facility. He also highlighted the expected timeline for reopening the hatchery, which promises to bring significant economic benefits to the rural community by creating six full-time, year-round jobs and two seasonal positions.

Gratitude and Looking Forward

Sunrise Engineering extends our deepest gratitude to the DWR, DFCM, Wayne County, and the local residents for entrusting us with this important project. We are immensely proud of our contributions to the rebuilding of the Loa Fish Hatchery and are excited about the positive impact it will have on Utah’s fish production, wildlife conservation, and angling community.

We look forward to the continued collaboration and to witnessing the hatchery’s role in enhancing Utah’s natural resources and economy. This project stands as a testament to what can be achieved when state agencies, engineering firms, and communities come together with a shared vision for a better future.

Thank you for joining us in celebrating this historic event and for supporting the Loa Fish Hatchery’s bright future.