April Fish Creek Newsletter

May 22, 2013   //   by Geoff Schaake   //   Cack Handed, Environmental Stuff, Fish Creek Atlantic Salmon Club Minutes, Like Minded Mofos  //  Comments Off on April Fish Creek Newsletter
April 2013 News:
Vermont Atlantic Salmon We have a special agreement with the folks who run the Vermont Fish Hatchery on Grande Island, Vermont, to take any Atlantic salmon that they have left after they reach their state’s yearly stocking quota. This year we were given about 15,000 Atlantics. We were required to have the virology tests done to assure our DEC that the fish are free of any known virus like VHS; and, to get them from the Vermont hatchery by April 5th. After receiving the laboratory test results, Jim Lawler and Larry Chismark rented a truck, borrowed transport tanks from the Rome Hatchery and went to Vermont and brought the fish back for stocking in our West Branch of Fish Creek on April 5th. A large turnout of Club members and friends met the stocking truck and we stocked the fish at several locations on the West Branch of Fish Creek and the Mad River above our hatchery at McConnelsville. The fish measured about 1.5 inches in length at stocking time, but by fall should be about 5 – 6 inches long. This is a bonus for our stocking program as we are also raising another batch of Atlantics in our own hatchery at the McConnellsville dam for release later this year.
Sabago Strain Atlantic Salmon – Paul Miller ordered 45,000 eggs from the hatchery in Maine which collects eggs from the spawning Atlantics in the inlet to Sabago Lake in Maine, then holds them in the hatchery egg rearing facility until they show signs of eyes in the eggs. Paul was notified when the eyed eggs were ready for transfer to our hatchery. This year it was my privilege to go after our eggs on February 14th. After arriving at the hatchery at 7 AM, I was given a brief tour of the hatchery while workers prepared the eggs in foam trays covered with damp cheese cloths and ice, then put in a larger foam box for safe transport. I was on my way home around 8 AM, so I called Jim Lawler and Paul to let them know that I planned to arrive at our hatchery around 4 PM. We met at the hatchery and checked the egg temperatures vs. our water temperatures in our tanks, then transferred the eggs to our hatching baskets, which float in our tanks. All went as planned. Since then, each day, a Club member goes to the hatchery to clean the tanks, inspect the eggs, remove any dead and record numbers removed, check water flows through the tanks and water temperatures and record all in our log book. Our eggs are now hatched out and swimming around with their egg-sacks still attached, supplying nutrients for their survival. Soon the fish will be fed with special food, which we buy for them and we will see them grow and get stronger. These fish will be sample tested when they get large enough, and provided the test results are ok, will be ready for stocking later this year.

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