Friday, May 2, 2008


O.K; these are some pictures of the hatchery that I took this morning. They are not in the order I planned. But I'll try to explain.
The picture above is a picture of the special river mud that's brought in for this purpose. The reason being that the egg's are slime so they have to be coated in this real fine mud to keep them seperated from each other. This is a picture of a Lake Vermilion walleye. "very tasty" This is a good size female full of eggs. In the fish world females are always bigger then the males.

This is the part every one wanted to see these fish are being milked. You hold the fish by the head and gentle squeeze and rub toward the tail. From a fish this size you will get about a quarter of a cup. OK boys and girls now for the big surprise these fish that are being milked are Male's.

In all fish the female lays the egg's and the male comes later and deposits his milk over the area where the eggs are. And with a little luck the baby fish "which are caller fry" will hatch. In the walleye's case it will take about three weeks. Then if they haven't been eaten by other fish they will grow into whats called a fingerling. A fingerling is about two inches long. At this point they are quit a bit safer from predators so they can be put back into the lake or be transported to other lakes.

The picture above is of a female being striped of it's eggs. The egg's come out the same way the milk does. gently rub from front to back. It's not uncomon for a fish to have egg's that weigh thirty to fifty percent of its body weight.

This is an area where it all takes place. These men and women are on walkways over traps catching fish. Some are getting fish out of traps, some are striping egg's out of the females, some are turning them lose into the river and Yes Tylen some are milking fish


Bec said...

That is GROSS, but after your last blog I did of course hop online and researched it a little. It brings up a 3% to 4% survival rate for the babies all the way up to 85%. Its still gross though!

MN Wife said...

The pics are great skip! I`m impressed with the camera!

Even though i`m not into fish milking, i found your post very informative, now i know!

sulli said...

Awesome dad! we love it. We all gathered around the computer and read and reread your post. Very informative. I agree with bec... that job is way grosser than my job! but I like the way it brings up the survival of the walleye... maybe they have been slacking out there on lake vermillion... giving away too many fingerlings perhaps?
ps... tylen loved his gift, he wont put it down.
he wonders how you scratched his name on it...

Dana Jones said...

Steve said that is mighty interesting, He guessed right away it was the males who got milked. I said, that's gross!

MN Wife said...

My mouth is watering to eat that walleye in the picture.