Pam Hagemann has always had a passion for fishing. As a child, she remembers her grandparents taking her to hatcheries and fishing out of the back seat of their Cadillac.
Growing up, Hagemann often went fishing at her family’s cabin near Shasta, where her grandmother once caught a record breaking fish. Hagemann described her grandmother as always being a “fisherwoman” and said “she could always catch a fish.”
Now 63, Hagemann shares her childhood passion with families from all around the world. She owns and operates the Hagemann Ranch Trout Farm off of Highway 1 in Bodega, something she has been doing for more than 30 years.
Hagemann was married to the late Bruce Hagemann, who passed away in 2014 in an ATV Accident. Bruce Hagemann was a wholesale meat seller who raised sheep and cattle in Sonoma County in addition to running the trout farm with his wife.
This is Pam Hagemann’s last year running the trout farm. She said it’s hard to let go, but she needs to do it.
Although she plans to retire at the end of the year, she expects to see the family’s fishing tradition continue. Hagemann doesn’t want to split or sell the property. She anticipates one of her three children will take over the family business and continue offering a family friendly fishing experience.
Hagemann’s twelve year old grandson is also learning the trade of the family business as he helps his grandmother around the property. Hagemann hopes that even farther into the future, her grandchildren will continue to express interest in the fishing business.
The property the trout farm sits on is 219 acres, and Hagemann also has another property which is approximately 300 acres.
Hagemann Trout Farm is not a hatchery, and Hagemann purchases all her fish. She buys the fish at an edible size and then grows them in the pond. The fish vary in size, and the largest fish caught in the pond was 27 inches long.
Hagemann estimates there are around 10,000 Rainbow Trout between her two ponds.
To maintain the fish population and keep them healthy and happy, Hagemann checks the water temperature and aerates the pond to provide the fish with oxygen. She feeds the trout Silver Cup, a form of pelleted fish food.
The Hagemann Trout Farm has strict rules prohibiting catch and release. According to Hagemann, this is because trout are very delicate fish. She said fish which have been caught and are released back into the pond will likely die and they’ll be found floating on the surface at the end of the day.
Hagemann said trout are also hard to raise because they are so delicate. In addition to this, trout are expensive to purchase. She said if she was to do it over again she would raise bass and catfish, which are hardier than trout.
Hagemann said the trout fishing industry is full of challenges. The price of trout has been increasing, and she said the drought has only added to this. Other operating costs including electricity are also a concern. Hagemann has thought over switching to solar but is leaving this decision up to her children.
Hagemann said she pulls both locals looking to fish as well as tourists visiting the coast. The trout farm has had visitors from all over the world including a couple recently visiting from Italy and tourists from Germany.
Guests enjoy the convenience of the trout farm. Fishing licenses are not required, and poles can be rented onsite. Fishers pay per fish caught and pricing depends on the size of the fish. Guests fishing are invited to bring a picnic and enjoy a day outside at the trout farm.
Hagemann Ranch Trout Farm is open five days a week (closed Tuesday and Wednesday) during the summer months of June, July and August and is open on the weekends March – Thanksgiving.