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LibbyMt.com > News > June 2011 > Trout spawn at hatchery

Fish Eggs. Photo by Kootenai Valley Record.
Fish Eggs
Tom Ostrowksi and Neil Benson net female trout and strip their eggs. Photo by Kootenai Valley Record.
Trout spawn at hatchery
by Janine Price, Kootenai Valley Record
June 10, 2011

Fish technicians and culturists spent the morning of May 25 in water up to their knees during the annual fish spawning activity at Libby Fish Hatchery. Approximately 15 female interior red band trout were netted and stripped of eggs, and two male trout provided the final step of fertilization.

The entire process is performed in a controlled environment to preserve the wild characteristics of the native rainbow.

Brad Flickinger from the Murray Springs Hatchery and Jay DeShazer from the Libby area Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks office observed while each fish and its eggs were visually inspected. Female trout are further examined for any signs of disease to ensure that the future brood stock does not contain any disease that could be transmitted.

After the collection process is completed, the fertilized eggs are placed in a solution of water and iodine to harden the eggs before placing in coolers for transport to the hatchery. At Murray Springs, it takes about 14 days for the eggs to "eye up" and another seven to hatch. The successful hatch rate can be as high as 70 percent of 10,000 eggs but generally runs lower.

The fish are raised for production brood stock providing a supply of eggs that will furnish stock to small lakes in the area including Kilbrennan and Crystal Lakes.

Editor's Note: See the April 26, 2011 edition of the Kootenai Valley Record for the printed version of this story. The Kootenai Valley Record publishes once a week, on Tuesdays, in Libby, Montana. They are a locally owned community newspaper, located at 403 Mineral Avenue in Libby. For in-county and out-of-county subscription information, call 406-293-2424, or e-mail kvrecord@gmail.com.

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