Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Travel East Pays Big Dividends in Fisheries Conservation
Midwest Region, July 3, 2014
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Newly hatched St. Lawrence River strain lake sturgeon
Newly hatched St. Lawrence River strain lake sturgeon - Photo Credit: FWS photo
Distribution truck loaded and ready for the trip east
Distribution truck loaded and ready for the trip east - Photo Credit: FWS photo

A trip to the East Coast in early June by staff from Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin accomplished several different objectives in one long journey. Our first goal was to transport a brood line of Klondike Reef lake trout to the Berkshire National Fish Hatchery in New Marlborough, Massachusetts to support the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's efforts to restore lake trout populations in the lower Great Lakes.

The fish were reared from wild eggs obtained in the fall of 2012 and quarantined to ensure that no fish diseases had been brought in with the eggs. After three fish health examinations in 18 months, the fish were released to the Iron River National Fish Hatchery (Wis.) and the Berkshire National Fish Hatchery. At these facilities the lake trout should produce eggs for many years to come to support re-stocking efforts in Lake Erie and Lake Michigan.

The lake trout were transported in early June to also coincide with the lake sturgeon spawning and egg collection activities on the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. Personnel from Genoa joined biologists from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Geological Survey office at Cortland, New York, and the Service's New York Field Office to collect eggs for propagation in New York's lake sturgeon restoration efforts. Over 40,000 eggs were taken, disinfected and brought back to Genoa for rearing. Once the fish reach fingerling size in the fall, 5 to 7 inches, they will be transported back to upper New York for release.

During the trip, over 40 hours of road time carried two very different species to two very different fisheries facilities over 1,100 miles apart.  

Contact Info: Doug Aloisi, 608-689-2605, Doug_Aloisi@fws.gov
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