Despite social distancing limitations due to COVID-19 and irregular weather patterns, fall wild fish egg collection quotas have been met in the Adirondack Region.
Over the past two weeks, DEC Fisheries staff have been working to collect brook trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, and lake trout eggs to rear in hatcheries across the region. Every fall, staff from DEC Regions 5 & 6 and associated fish hatcheries venture out to certain waters to collect fish to be used for spawning.
Live fish are collected using trap nets set along the shorelines of waterbodies known to contain the desired fish species and strains. Collection of mature fish from the wild alleviates the need to raise and hold adult fish in the hatchery system and also has some genetic benefits.
Fish are released back into the water where they were collected once eggs and milt (sperm) are obtained.
2020 Egg Collection Numbers
- 49,351 brook trout eggs
– 11,250 Little Tupper strain
– 23,611 Horn Lake strain
– 14,490 Windfall strain
- 381,400 landlocked salmon eggs (Sebago Lake strain)
- 79,900 lake trout eggs
Once collected and fertilized, the eggs are distributed to various hatcheries where they’re hatched out and the fish are typically raised to 3-7 inches long before being stocked out into selected waters. Trout and salmon are stocked to provide sportfishing opportunities for anglers and to restore heritage strain populations.
In a year where nothing seems normal, northern New York anglers can rest assured that they will have the opportunity to catch heritage strain brook trout, landlocked salmon, and lake trout in the years to come.
Editor’s note: Throughout November, the Adirondack Explorer published a series about the “rewilding” of Adirondack streams and rivers. Click here to see the complete package.