Texas Freshwater Fish Hatchery- Texas Fish Farms

Danbury Fish Farm Gets “Long Awaited” Facelift.

In late 2008, Hurricane Ike, like so many other hurricanes, made it’s way down “hurricane alley” and plowed right into Galveston, only 30 miles East of Danbury. Danbury was on the West side of the storm and while not receiving the “brunt” of the storm, our fisheries facility got our fair share.
Hurricane Ike rips Galveston and Danbury.

Hurricane Ike rips Galveston and Danbury.

The Danbury fish hatchery and holding  facility where we held all our fish for stocking ponds was literally torn to shreds as is shown in the photographs on the left.  After that came Gustav, and it seemed to NEVER stop raining for months. All our freshwater lakes went somewhat unharmed. Once the monsoons eased a bit, in the latter paft of 2008, we just scrapped,and picked up pieces, trying to make the best of it with what we had left of the scraps. During 2009 and the first half of 2010, we operated in very much of “make shift” condition and appearing  like “gypsies” living in tents, as we waited to hear from insurance companies, potential disaster loans, and finally a long, long drawn out bank loan process that we thought would “never end”…. our governmnent at work!!!!!  We certainly have a HUGE appreciation for those who receive storm and other damage and live with the “blue tarps” over their rooftops seemingly forever.  We struggled, scrapped, and scraped as we “made do” during these times. We appreciate the patients and understandings from all our loyal customers, friends and colleagues.

Kenny and Cuatro discuss plans for new offices, hatchery and holdiing facilities

Kenny and Cuatro discuss plans for new offices, hatchery and holdiing facilities

During the first quarter of 2009, Kenny had gotten re-acquainted with Joe Strack, Sr. (III) and Joe Strack (IV) “Cuatro”, and formed a future strategic partner alliance that seeemed to fit perfectly into the Legacy Farms and Ranches of Texas business model that Kenny and his partner Gardner Reynolds had been planning and organizing since latter part of 2008.  It was such a “natural fit” for Cuatro, who was just finishing the building construction phase of a large project for Bayer Corporation, to jump right in on the ”ground floor” planning for Danbury’s new facilities. In keeping with the “Legacy Concept” of doing first things first, and doing things right from the start, Kenny and Cuatro went to work and created the plans for the new offices, fish hatchery and fish holding facility.  Once all the plans were drawn and finalized, then the loan process, which seemed to take forever, began. Upon approval of the loan, the building was ordered and delivered, and then Pre-Construction began.

 

Pre-Construction Site Preparation

Pre-Construction Site Preparation

As with most any construction project, the site clean up and preparation has to first be accomplished. The site preparation accomplishes all the pre-construction clearing, dirt moving, and clean up to provide for the construction start up. In Danbury Fish Farm’s case, the old building had to be entirely removed. Then we had to establish temporary electrical power so we could continue to operate a “make shift” fisheries holding location for our fish for stocking ponds. The freshwater lakes holding the fish as well as our customers were screaming for the “show to go on”. Our first order of construction business was to first drill out deep cylindrical borings so that we could install concrete bell bottom  footings. The picture to the left shows where a few of these footings were drilled.

 

Setting the Main Beams

Setting the Main Beams

When the the concrete footings were poured, anchor bolts were placed on the top surface so as to receive the square footing of the main beams, that spanned the building. The picture to the left shows the lift crane setting the main building beams in place, after which they were securely bolted down and fastened. Once the concrete cured, then the main beams of the building  bolted down directly on top of these footings.

 

 

 

C channeling for roof support

C channeling for roof support

After the main beams were erected,  then a series of C channels that spanned the entire length of the building are placed and secured to the top of the main beams, being evenly spaced so as to equally carry and support the roofing sheets that would then follow. The offices had been framed out and all the sheeting on the perimeter of the office as well as the sheeting on the sides of the building were installed prior to installing the roof sheeting. All the sheeting is screwed down with self tapping and self sealing metal screws. By this time we were seeing progress in the making and knew our freshwater lakes were soon to get a “work out” as the fish for stocking ponds were soon to be returning to our new fisheries facilities.

At last we were "dried in", looking like a fish farm again!

At last we were "dried in", looking like a fish farm again!

About 2 weeks after clearing the site, we actually had a roof over our head and we were looking like a real fish farm again. The minute the last roofing sheet went on, we were “fast tracking” to install all our bracketing and bracing that would soon support all our new plumbing that had to be installed for our fish hatchery and all our fish holding and grading tanks. Since we were “starting from scratch”, we had to plan and lay this all out so that it was neat, orderly, and fully functional. In order the the fish for stocking ponds that we harvest from all our freshwater lakes be kept in excellent condition while grading and holding they have to have adequate amounts of oxygen and quality water.

 

 

Lake water, well water and air supply plumbing for every tank was installed

Lake water, well water and air supply plumbing for every tank was installed

Fish are harvested, with harvest seines, from our freshwater lakes. They are then loaded into the harvest trucks and transported into the fisheries holding facility and dumped through pipes carrying water and fish (you can see one of these pipes in the picture to the left), into one of the many holding tanks you see  in the background. In order that these fish for stocking ponds we have harvest from the freshwater lakes be kept in excellent condition while handling, grading and holding,  they must have adequate amounts of high quality water and oxygen. This guarantees that our customers receive high quality fish. In the picture to the left you can see all the PVC plumbing for the water and air lines. We have all our holding tanks back in working condition now and are in great shape to ship plenty of fish for stocking ponds this fall. We had our August Slab Sale under our new roof and will have our next one on Sept. 18th. We look forward to seeing many of our current and new customers at this Sale Sale and will keep you posted on when the remainder of building will be completed.

 

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