the fall of 2008 representative of the Medway River Salmon
Association’s Environment Committee approached Mike McNeil,
Manager, McGowan Lake Fish Hatchery with a view of seeking agreement to
do an experiment rearing trout eggs in a stream side/in stream
incubation box. Agreement was reached between the parties and
arrangements were made to have trout eggs
transferred from the hatchery to the incubation box.
our Association approached provincial Natural Resources to use the man
made waterways of the Old Charleston Fish Hatchery for this experiment.
Agreement was reached between the parties to conduct such experiment in
the winter/spring 2009. On April 3, 2010 we have a Letter of Authority
from the Department of Natural Resources granting our Association
use these lands from April 3, 2010 to March 31, 2015.
The authority is to access the areas of the man made brooks located on
the crown land to raise trout/salmon eggs.
Next approval was
sought and received from Nova Scotia Environment to construct a dam
across the waterway. In mid-February the dam was completed, the
incubation box placed in the stream below the dam, water hook up from
the dam to the box was
completed and 20,000 sea run trout eggs placed in the box.
improve the pH levels limestone was placed in the buffer and
bottom of the incubation box. The hatch takes place as water
temperatures rise and the young will depart the incubation box when the
yoke sac is dried, 4 to 6 weeks. The juveniles leave the box through a
hose at the opposite end of the box. Mortality was less than 200
eggs making our first experiment a huge success.
In 2010 the
McGowan Lake Fish Hatchery again supplied 20,000 sea run trout eggs and
7,000 “eyed” salmon eggs from a breeding of one male/female
salmon at the Mersey Biodiversity Facility in Milton, were provided for
a second incubation box. Both experiments went extremely well and
the mortality numbers were greatly reduced to less than 60 for tout and
10 for salmon. The challenge for 2011 will be to reach agreement with
Fisheries and Oceans Canada to provide salmon eggs for another
incubation box rearing experiment.