A plane drops thousands of fish into a Utah lake in this awesome video

Originally published at: A plane drops thousands of fish into a Utah lake in this awesome video | Boing Boing


less stressful? but more terrifying?


The aerial method of stocking is much quicker and less stressful for the fish,

I’m gonna call bs on that one. It’s gotta be like a horrible amusement park ride, where you’re shaken up but grateful to be alive at the end.


coca cola soda GIF



But why?

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I want to know what is the kill rate for dropping them from 100s of feet out of the sky.

I do get that they are comparing “stressful” to what sounds like a many-hours ride in small non-oxygenated bag containers heating up in the sun on the back of some horses because there are no roads… but still…

Gently lowering them from, say, a helicopter, or landing a pontoon plane on the lake (depending on lake size) would be less stressful I would think.

EDIT: There’s also the question, if they find it necessary to “restock” them year after year, then perhaps those lakes are simply not a fit environment for those fish to thrive. Perhaps they need to find species which can survive in that environment instead of refilling it with doomed fish that cannot keep a viable population from year to year.


These same fish often navigate Class V and VI rapids without harm, so this doesn’t seem out of proportion.

The stockings are necessary due to predation by raptors and humans, as well as winter kill at high elevations.


this really needs to be in slow motion with Fortunate Son playing


This comes up a lot in my area. Lots of the lakes that are stocked would be complete empty if they didn’t put fish in there every year, either because there was no native fish population in the lake or because humans caught and ate them all. My area is known for it’s stillwater fishing, so they gotta keep putting the fish in there every year.


It’s 85 to 99%, depending on the source. Fish are very light, and don’t hit the water with enough speed from the heights dropped to cause major damage.

That’s a much more interesting question I’d like the answer to as well. Seems a waste of time and money to have to keep coming back each year to restock. Probably they do it to keep anglers happy. EDIT: they may make more in fishing fees restocking costs, perhaps, but still… doesn’t really make sense to me.


What fish doesn’t love skydiving into their new home? /s


Yes, to me it sounds entirely like an economic incentive, put in fish solely to attract sportsman dollars to the state, rather than any concern about the ecology. I’d also question if the fish they are stocking with are even native fish, rather than invasive species brought in because the fishermen want those. (possibly when they started stocking “back in the 50s”, they introduced non-native “popular” species which killed off all the native fish (and amphibians and reptiles).


The aerial method of stocking is much quicker and less stressful for the fish…


Release the Kraken!


This kills the fish.

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I think that’s survival rate, not mortality rate.

@dreamofthedarkstar another factor to consider is mosquitoes. Mountain lakes that don’t have trout have huge mosquito populations.

As well, in most of these lakes, fish live for a long time but grow slowly. A 10 year old brook trout might be 11 inches. It’s necessary to stock on a regular schedule to keep multiple year classes of fish in a given lake so that as they get bigger, they don’t deplete any given food source. In other words, if a lake has 200 trout with a distribution of size from 5 to 15 inches, no problem. If the same lake has 200 fish and they are all the same size, they progressively wipe out different food sources as they grow, upsetting the whole ecosystem.


It make sense when you think of the economic value of angling.

I don’t know the exact numbers, but the money any given region makes from anglers make it worthwhile for them to keep stocking. A quick Google shows anglers spend like $45 billion a year in the US alone. However much it costs to get fish into places like that, it’s worth it. Here, 100% of license fees go to the stocking and fishery improvement program (over $13 million in license fees for the 800ish lakes they stock).

It’s almost entirely fish native to the region for us, they stopped stocking anything non-native back in the 80s with the exception of brook trout, and they’re all sterile females. The fish don’t necessary belong in the lakes that they’re in, but they’re native fish.


…thus giving all of them an amazing ahem fish tale to tell their friends and fry.


As god is my witness, I thought they could fly!