The following pictures & dialogue depict the process of collecting Salmon eggs and raising them to release stage at the hatchery. Just click on an thumbnail to see the full sized image.
1.) The first step is to collect mature males from the fish trap. This typically happens during October and November.
2.) Now comes the collecting of eggs from the females. The females are tested to see if the eggs are ripe. This is done by feeling to see if the eggs have detached from the ovarian sacs. Ripe females have their eggs taken.
3.) The third step involves collecting "milt" (sperm) from the ripe males.
4.) The fourth step involves fertilizing the eggs with the collected milt of males.
5.) Once the eggs have reached the "eyed stage", the unfertilized eggs are removed by hand. This is called "egg picking" and usually happens in January to February.
6.) COHO reach the alevin stage approximately 16 weeks after fertilization, (end of February to the beginning of March).
7.) A month after the COHO reach the alevin stage, they are released into rearing containers called "Captroughs" as fry. 'This is called "ponding".
8.) After spending a couple of months in the Captroughs, the fry are moved into larger raceways to reduce over-crowding.
9.) Others will be held and released the following April or May after spending 18 months at the hatchery. The COHO are now referred to as "smolts". They go through a physiological change which prepares their bodies for salt water. The smolts, when released, spend less than two days in the river before entering the ocean. These fish will hopefully return 18 months later as mature adults.