Mountain State Trout is a small scale, family-owned trout company tucked in the mountains near Franklin, West Virginia. Specializing in brook, brown, and rainbow trout, owners Thomas Wimer and Courtney Ratliff have big dreams to grow a successful trout business and build the overall food system in the region. Despite purchasing the hatchery recently, they’ve been making measurable improvements to the facility’s infrastructure and have begun to develop exciting value-added trout products and to experiment with aquaponics.
The hatchery was originally constructed by Thomas’ great-grandfather in 1952 and its source is an artesian spring that pumps over 15,000 gallons of water through the ponds every minute. Thomas grew up around the hatchery and on his family’s farm. As an adult, he was drawn to come back after college, where he and Courtney met. “This is what I love doing,” he explained. For Courtney, it aligns her desire to eat well and eat locally.
With help from Courtney’s sister Caitlyn and their son (future-helper), Forest, Thomas and Courtney market their trout directly to customers with plans to sell at farmers’ markets in the coming season. They hope to produce healthy, local fresh and processed trout and are already marketing to restaurants in the region.
To find out more about Mountain State Trout, contact:
Thomas Wimer and Courtney Ratliff
Mountain State Trout
287 Hammer Run Rd.,
Franklin, West Virginia 26807