Thursday, October 8, 2009

Trout spawning project yields fewer eggs

Despite a herculean effort by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources staff they weren't able to gather as many lake trout eggs this fall as normal.

The water temperature never did get cold enough to bring large quantities of trout into the spawning shoals during the week-long project which ended Wednesday.

So they are sending about half of the normal amount of fertilized eggs to the Dorion fish hatchery near Thunder Bay where they will be raised to fingerling size and released back to Red Lake in a year and a half.

In this photo MNR staffer Christine Apostolov strips a female trout of eggs into a bowl held by Red Lake High School student Nicky while biologist Leslie Barnes looks on.

At the end of the day Jason, the man in the background, still had to make the 6-hour drive with the eggs to the hatchery.

The lake trout stocking project involves many MNR personnel including senior managers in addition to dedicated fish and wildlife personnel.

They pulled out all the stops this year trying to gather enough trout for the project but female trout were hard to find. They are always the last to come to the shoals in Pipestone Bay and the netters could only find one or two at a time whereas there were plenty of male trout.

This brings to a close a season that can only be called bizarre due to the weather.

The temperatures now appear to be headed to normal for this time of year. Snow is expected most of this week with lows below freezing.

The lake level is finally back to near normal high-water levels.

It won't be long before Brenda and Sam and I close camp and head home for the winter.

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