Big Brown Fish Hatchery, Inc.
was started in 1971 by it's owner, Charles A. Conklin II, as a hobby. The first sale was made in 1975. It was difficult for Charles to part ways with these fish and sell them; they had become pets, with 25 of the most distinctive individuals being named. The fish he was fondest of was "Big Brown". In 1984 after graduation from East Stroudsburg University, Charles turned the hatchery into a full time business. A name was needed, and the first to come to mind was Big Brown Fish Hatchery, after "Big Brown", that trout he had been so fond of as a young boy. In 1985, the Big Brown Fish & Pay Lakes was opened as a premier trout fee-fishing destination.
Fast forwarding to today, Big Brown has 6 full time and 5 part time employees. The hatchery produces 260,000 pounds of Brook, Brown, Rainbow, and Golden Rainbow Trout and approximately 20,000 Largemouth Bass and Bluegill annually. About 25% of the hatchery's fish are stocked into the fish & pay lakes, 65% are sold to private sport fishing, and 10% are sold to food processors.
(Charlie building some of his first rearing ponds, circa 1980.)