Genoa NFH Increases Capacity to Rear
Larval Lake Sturgeon
BY DOUG ALOISI, GENOA NFH
Winter is usually a time where the hatchery receives and cares for our salmonid (rainbow trout, lake trout, and coaster brook trout) eggs and fry, and begins to maintain and winterize all of our nets and equipment that we have put to hard use during our field season. In the last few years however, it is also a time that we try to expand our capabilities for doing good things in the upcoming production season, usually involving increasing our capacity in freshwater mussel recovery and restoration and lake sturgeon restoration. This season, due to increased success in lake sturgeon egg survival, we noticed that the new bottleneck in the Genoa National Fish Hatchery (NFH) lake sturgeon production program was larval tank space.
So this fall, fourteen new circular tanks are being acquired and, plumbing systems are being modified to accommodate these tanks to be installed over the existing juvenile rearing tanks. This will save floor space and rearing space. Through these efforts, we should be able to house an extra 30,000 larval lake sturgeon, until they are large enough to be cared for in our current juvenile tanks. The new space should also allow for healthier sturgeon to be cared for in our current facilities, which will hopefully allow for a healthier fish to be stocked into receiving waters. The added capacity will be important in future years, as lake sturgeon propagation for restoration is very much in demand, with historic populations in the Midwest at historic low levels and propagated fish surviving very well in ongoing restoration programs.