Kurtz Fish Hatchery is a leader among fish hatcheries, and owner Richard A. Kurtz is well known for his overall knowledge of the industry. Located in Chester County, in southeastern Pennsylvania, Kurtz Fish Hatchery specializes in raising fish for the sports market. This hatchery is licensed to produce the following sport fish: Bass (Hybrid Striped, Largemouth), Channel Catfish, Crayfish, American Eel, Common Goldfish, Fathead and Rosey Red Minnows, Mussels, Golden Shiner, Pumpkinseed Sunfish, Tadpoles, and Rainbow Trout. It is one of fourteen approved dealers that have received permits from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to import, transport, and sell Triploid Grass Carp in the state. The Triploid Grass Carp is used for low cost, herbicide free, aquatic weed control in ponds and lakes, is imported from Asia, and is genetically altered at hatcheries to prevent the fish from spawning.
Pennsylvania fish farmers grow over twenty species of sport fish. Two-thirds of Pennsylvania’s $15 million worth of farmed fish are used for sports fish stocking. Probably the most widely distributed and popular warm water sport fish in southeast Pennsylvania is the Largemouth Bass. The Hybrid Striped Bass do well in ponds, grow quickly in ponds, and are becoming popular as sport fish.
One reason Kurtz Fish Hatchery is a leader in the industry is excellence in fish and pond management. Pond management is increasingly more important and requires specialized techniques for warmer Pennsylvania waters. Small ponds are best for a limited number of game fish species: Bass, Sunfish and Catfish. Lake fish (Pike, Muskellunge and Walleye) do not do well in a small pond setting. Most warm shallow ponds in southeastern Pennsylvania will not support Trout, because the water temperatures are too warm, resulting in a lack of oxygen.
Ponds need to be carefully managed with respect to plant density. Too much density in aquatic plant beds will stunt Sunfish, and reduce the effectiveness of Largemouth Bass as population controls on Bluegill. There is a delicate balance between the two populations that needs to be maintained. Large amounts of decomposing material left in the pond can also deplete oxygen.
Farm raised fish are grown under conditions that give them plenty of space to move and develop their muscles as they grow. Several species are raised in pond conditions with limited artificial food added to their diet. This means better survival and vitality after stocking. If not handled properly, a result will be stunted Sunfish and undersized Largemouth Bass. There is a need for a proper ratio of Bass to Sunfish, or overpopulation will stunt the Sunfish. Caught Bluegills should never be returned to ponds because of their ability to reproduce and crowd the ponds.
Broad and detailed knowledge of both fish farming and pond management are what make Kurtz Fish Hatchery a reliable and resourceful dealer in southeastern Pennsylvania. For additional information or if you have questions unanswered, please contact the business directly.
Kurtz Fish Hatchery
161 Isabella Road
Elverson, PA 19520