Monday April 22, 2024

The Nevada Independent

It’s spawning day at the Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex, and volunteers clad in rubber boots and jackets move quickly around the south Gardnerville building, fishing nets in hand.

They swoop the nets into giant pools of water chilled to mimic temperatures found in local waterways, extracting mature male Lahontan cutthroat trout one at a time. The fish, which are sedated but still active, squirm as they are carried across the hatchery.

There, a group of biologists waiting to handle the fish reach into the nets, gently extract a fish, and begin massaging its abdomen from head to tail, manually extracting milt — the semen-filled fluid of male fish. The milt is stored in small vials marked with letters and numbers like a game of bingo — G83, H24, F17 — and is later manually mixed with the eggs of fish deemed genetically compatible.

The biologists handle each fish for only a matter of seconds, but there are hundreds of trout, and the process takes hours.

Read more >

Link copied successfully