HELENA – In video released Friday, Fish Wildlife and Park’s announced the release of thousands of fish into the Fort Peck Reservoir on Thursday.
Fish Culture Specialist Ryan Lott offloading about 11,500 salmon (the other 11,500 were released from the other truck tank) into the reservior.
At one point in the video one of the salmon actually ran into the lens of the camera.
About 300,000 salmon were successfully reared in the Fort Peck Multispecies Fish Hatchery this year, with another 40,000 reared at the Lewistown Hatchery, making a total of over 340,000 juvenile salmon stocked into the Reservoir in the past week.
Hatchery and fisheries crews collected Chinook salmon eggs from Fort Peck Reservoir last fall. Once the fish were collected, they were transferred to the Fort Peck Multispecies Fish Hatchery. Egg and milt are then extracted from females and males, respectively, and successfully fertilized and hatched offspring were reared over the winter.
Salmon were first introduced into Fort Peck Reservoir in 1983. Due to the abundance of their preferred forage fish, cisco, salmon have shown excellent growth recently, with males maturing in two to four years and females in three to four years. Salmon fishing has been quite good the last few seasons on Fort Peck, and anglers are hoping for another good year this year.