Fish Culture Today

Rainbow trout in nutritional chamber.  Photo by Nicholas Mariana. Courtesy of National Conservation Training Center #5297 The California Department of Fish and Game pioneered aerial fish planting in the years following World War II. In this photo, taken about 1950 in Bishop, CA, Dave Ward, Lee Talbot, Carrol Faist, and Jim McGregor prepare to load an WWII-surplus Beechcraft C-45 with fingerlings. Loading a plane with fish for stocking in Lake Powell.  Photo by Rex Gary Schmidt. Courtesy of National Conservation Training Center. #4572 Putting fingerling trout in a plane for stocking in Lake Powell  Photo by Rex Gary Schmidt. Courtesy of National Conservation Training Center. #4577 A diagram of a typical aerial fish planting run, drawn by one of the pioneers: Carrol Faist. Stocking rainbow trout in Lake Powell  Photo by Rex Gary Schmidt. Courtesy of National Conservation Training Center. #5066 After years of stocking the lakes of the Sierra Nevada using pack animals, the California Department of Fish and Game began using airplanes in the 1940s. Many of the lakes previously had no fish. Fish culture has changed very little from the 19th century. First squeeze the eggs out of the ripe female by firmly sliding your fingers down the belly, then squeeze the milt out of the male. Swirl it around, and you're done. Provide them a safe place to develop and you'll have some nice fish in a year. This is John Riger at the Colorado Division of Wildlife's Crystal River Hatchery.  Photo by Anders Halverson A closeup of Colorado Division of Wildlife's John Riger spawning rainbow trout.  Photo by Anders Halverson A closeup of Colorado Division of Wildlife's John Riger spawning rainbow trout. Photo by Anders Halverson Raceways at Colorado's Crystal River Hatchery.  Photo by Anders Halverson Sometimes you have to ask what this enterprise is all about.  Photo by Anders Halverson In the decades that followed World War II, reservoirs were built all over the country. Visiting them to fish for rainbow trout became one of America's favorite pasttimes. This picture was taken in 1972.  National Archives ARC Identifier 542647 / Local Identifier 412-DA-154 Anders Halverson tries his hand, spawning rainbow trout at Colorado's Crystal River facility. A group at the University of Missouri is studying the effects of creatine--the same supplement used by athletes like home-run slugger Mark McGwire--on rainbow trout. Here the fish swims in a Plexiglas tube to measure its endurance. "Sportsmen would likely pay a premium for a fishing experience where the fish struck the bait harder and fought longer," said one of the researchers in a press release.  Photo by Steve Morse Because they need abundant clear water, fish culture facilities tend to be located in beautiful places. This retrofitted trailer is part of Colorado's Chalk Cliffs Rearing Unit, in Nathrop, Colorado.  Photo by Anders Halverson After they hatch, fish are raised in a rearing facility like this one. Here the manager of Colorado's Chalk Cliffs Rearing Unit, Chris Hertrich, examines some young fish, some of which I helped to spawn. They reside in a retrofitted castoff trailer from the Department of Corrections.  Photo by Anders Halverson Here they are, the fish that I helped to spawn, a few months later at the Chalk Cliffs Rearing Unit.  Photo by Anders Halverson Adam Konrad caught world-record, 43-pound rainbow trout in a Saskatchewan lake. His prize probably escaped from a nearby aquaculture facility and had been manipulated to contain an extra set of chromosomes—a feature that makes such fish grow much faster and larger than normal.  Photo courtesy of Otto and Adam Konrad

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