The Joseph Manning (click name for short bio) Hatchery is located in Cedarville State Forest in Brandywine. The hatchery opened in 1980 and is named after Joseph Manning, former director of Tidewater Fisheries (a predecessor to The Fisheries Service). This facility cultures anadromous fish species and other species of special interest. The facility was originally designed for striped bass culture but has been adapted for other species. Striped bass, American shad, hickory shad, yellow perch, blueback herring, alewife herring, largemouth bass and Atlantic sturgeon are currently cultured here. The facility consists of spawning tanks, laboratory, culture tanks, raceways, brine shrimp culture tanks and a tagging room for tagging fish with coded wire tags (CWT). Fish are cultured using many methods, depending on the species. Propagation can be as simple as stripping fertilized eggs from mature females to more complex methods such as implanting fish with a hormone delivery system to induce spawning in hatchery tanks. Most fish cultured at Manning Hatchery are used in restoration programs. Manning Hatchery also works closely with Cedarville Hatchery, which is located on the same premises.
Activity at this facility is seasonal and intensive, so general individual hatchery tours or visits cannot be accommodated. However, large groups can call the hatchery manager for potential tours.
Dave Sien, Hatchery Manager
Rte. 4 Box 106E
Brandywine, Maryland 20613
Phone: (301) 579-6215
This is an exterior photo of Manning Hatchery. There are two water sources available. Water can be drawn from either an underground well or from an on site reservoir. Water flows through the aerating tower on the left hand side of the building. Detrimental dissolved gases such as nitrogen are removed in this tower. At this time oxygen can be added to provide adequate water quality for fish culture.
American shad and hickory shad larvae are cultured in 5' diameter flow through tanks. Shad species require circular flow to feed and grow properly. Chemical tagging with oxytetracycline is also conducted in these tanks.
Troughs can be used to culture larval fish of various species including striped bass, Atlantic sturgeon and yellow perch. Troughs can be operated as either flow through or recirculating systems.
Spawning tanks are used for shad and Atlantic sturgeon reproduction. Fish are induced to spawn through hormone therapy and eggs are transported in the water column to a collection box. These systems can be operated in either flow through or recirculating mode.
Diagram of a tank spawning system.
Brine shrimp, or Artemia (a.k.a. Sea Monkeys) are cultured as fish food in these tanks. Brine shrimp are an excellent starter food for many larval fish species.
This is the Manning Hatchery tagging area. Juvenile fish can be implanted with coded wire tags (CWT) so they can later be identified as hatchery fish upon recapture in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The CWT are one millimeter long metal tags that have a numerical code etched on the surface. The presence of a CWT can be confirmed only with a specialized CWT reader. Many fish species are wire tagged at Manning Hatchery including striped bass, American shad, hickory shad, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass.