It might be the dead of winter, but staff at Saskatchewan’s provincial fish hatchery in Fort Qu’Appelle are busy taking care of their newly hatched trout fry to prepare for the stocking season ahead.
This year, the hatchery will be releasing a few hundred thousand rainbow, brown and brook trout into waters across the province (tiger, splake and lake trout are produced and stocked in alternate years).
All of the eggs collected from the facility’s brood stock in the fall of 2019 have hatched.
The priority of the fish culture technicians now is to keep the young fish healthy and disease-free until it is time for their release into the wild, beginning in April. This is done by cleaning their troughs and giving the trout fry regular treatment baths to prevent bacterial infections and parasites.
As the fry grow to fingerling size, the technicians will split and move groups of fish to larger tanks to provide them with more space to grow.
February is also the time of year when the fish techs take inventory of the trout breeding stock while inoculating the 1000+ fish living at the brood stock facility.
All of the brood stock at the Fort Qu’Appelle Fish Culture Station are inoculated twice a year against common infections to ensure the general population remains in good health and free of disease.
For more information, feel free to follow the Fort Qu’Appelle Fish Culture Station on Facebook for regular updates: https://www.facebook.com/FishCultureStation/