Meet Your Farmers: Evan Burrows, Cedar Crest Trout Farms & Springhills Fish

Evan Burrows holds one of Cedar Crest’s broodstock rainbow trout.

“It was really always going to be fish. I wasn’t sure how, but I knew I wanted to work with fish.” – Evan Burrows

Evan Burrows of Cedar Crest Trout Farms & Springhills Fish started his search for a fish career at Fleming College’s Fish and Wildlife program. Fish and Wildlife gave Evan a taste of fish biology and a background in wild fish, but also introduced him to aquaculture.

As a Fish and Wildlife student, Evan received a tour of the fish hatchery at Fleming College and had the opportunity to volunteer. A chance to work with fish was enough to get his interest.

After completing Fish and Wildlife, Evan enrolled in the Aquaculture Co-op program at Fleming to further his knowledge and experience with fish culture. “We learned about all the different types of aquaculture and got tours and field trips to many facilities.”

The one that caught his interest was Cedar Crest Trout Farms in Hanover, Ontario, also known by the name Springhills Fish for their popular fish-to-home delivery business.

After graduation, Evan secured his co-op at Cedar Crest. “I knew I wanted to work on a land-based farm. I like the work and it was familiar to me. I enjoyed working in incubation at the college and wanted to continue this work.”

Evan interviewed and considered farms all over Canada but when he had the chance to interview with Arlen and RJ, he knew he wanted Cedar Crest.

“It seemed like a great family run business. The technician at the college, Hunter Remen, had great things to say about working there. We also got to speak with the owners and tour around their sites. It was easy to see what the job would be like after we experienced the farm tour firsthand. It was work I was interested in doing.”

Two years into his career at Cedar Crest and Evan is deep into the fish work he always wanted. Cedar Crest Farms includes 5 different sites, all of which he gets to work at. “I tend to get moved around a lot, so I get to do a lot of different farm jobs.”

Burrows nets fish at the Springhills farm near Chatsworth, Ontario

On top of husbandry and feeding, Evan is involved with shipping, grading and transfers on the fish side, as well as spawning and working in incubation on the egg production side. He also spends two days per week at the processing facility cleaning and packaging rainbow trout and Arctic char for Springhills Fish.

“I love the job because its never boring and not repetitive. I got to be involved with the rebuild at Springhills Chatsworth where we built the hatchery basically from the ground up, changing it from a flow through facility to a recirculating hatchery. Its rewarding because I learned so much from being involved.”

“But my favourite thing to do is feed fish. I love to interact with the fish and see their behaviour. Understanding their behaviour and what it means is very satisfying.”

Evan has no set scheme for the future, planning on increasing his knowledge and skill at Cedar Crest. The team atmosphere is enjoyable, and he fits right in. Though the work is hard, Evan has found a home and a rewarding career at Cedar Crest Trout Farms.

Written by Ron Hill, Velocity Aqua