The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department expects that an upgrade at the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station in Grand Isle, Vermont will improve the health of the salmon population in Lake Champlain.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department hatchery staff, fisheries biologists and other officials recently joined forces to construct a fish trap on the station’s discharge stream, Hatchery Brook. The trap will help to improve the collection process for adult salmon when they return to the brook to spawn.
After collection, the adult salmon will be used to reproduce and provide fertilized eggs at the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station in Grand Isle, where the eggs will be hatched and the young salmon raised before their return to Lake Champlain.
“Being able to collect fish in a safe, efficient and effective way for both staff and salmon is key to our overall fisheries management plan. The improvements we’ve completed at the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station allow us to meet these objectives more effectively and ultimately produce healthy salmon for our Lake Champlain restoration efforts.” ~ Adam Miller, fish culture operations chief with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.
Former collection methods required more handling, put more stress on the fish, and were less efficient for hatchery staff and biologists.
“The new fish trap decreases the risk of injuries to adult salmon from handling and increases the health and condition of parent fish used to provide fertilized eggs to our hatchery system”. It should also decrease the stress on eggs taken from parent fish, which may improve egg survival rates in the hatchery.” ~ Chet MacKenzie, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife.
The fish trap will also help fisheries biologists more efficiently collect data from large numbers of returning salmon. The data collected will feature lamprey wounding rates, fish size, abundance and age structure – aiding the department’s assessment of salmon restoration efforts.
The fish trap will also serve as an education tool. The public will be able to see fish when the trap is in operation, learn about salmon restoration efforts at the Ed Weed Fish Culture Station and in Lake Champlain, and learn about fish culture and the impacts of invasive species.
According to Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner, Louis Porter, “We are always looking for ways to protect and improve the health and number of fish and other wildlife in the most efficient ways possible. These improvements in how we trap fish, so we can collect and fertilize salmon eggs were developed by hatchery staff and fisheries biologists, and their efforts to come together to put in place cost-effective solutions to improve our work will benefit the salmon population for years to come.”
To purchase a Vermont fishing license or to find out more about fishing opportunities in Vermont, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
Other Lake Champlain Fishing Articles:
- Two fish certified as new Vermont state records
- Reel Fun Fishing Program Expands at Vermont State Parks
- Fishing Clinics – Introduction to Fly Fishing
- Vermont Free Fishing Day 2017
- NY DEC Asks Anglers to Avoid Spawning Lake Sturgeon