Iron River NFH Coasters Find New Home at
Red Cliff Tribal Fish Hatchery
BY CAREY EDWARDS, IRON RIVER NFH
NFH net up brook trout from circular tanks for transport to the Red Cliff Tribal Fish Hatchery. Credit: USFWS
The Iron River National Fish Hatchery (NFH) maintains 10,000 adult and juvenile lake trout and coaster brook trout annually. These fish produce eggs that are used for restoration purposes in the upper Great Lakes region. The brook trout eggs are utilized at Iron River NFH as well as other federal, state and tribal hatcheries around the region.
Adult brood fish (serve in egg and milt production) are “retired” as their efficiency at producing eggs declines, or when egg and fish requests decline or when space is needed for new brood fish. The hatchery staff makes every effort to place these fish into the local fishery.
“Transfers” to other facilities occur from time to time as well. This fall we had an opportunity to help Red Cliff Tribal Fish Hatchery invigorate their captive brood stock population. Biologists from Red Cliff picked up two year classes of surplus juvenile coaster brook trout, 1,500 fish in total, for transport to their new home.
Red Cliff Hatchery Tribal Fish Hatchery has replaced their Nipigon strain brook trout with the Tobin Harbor strain coaster brook trout. They have received eggs from the Iron River NFH for several years to meet production needs while their brood population matures. Iron River NFH was happy to assist a partner hatchery and delighted to put surplus fish to good use.
into a tank on the truck from Red Cliff TFH. Credit: USFWS