Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Brown Trout Spawning

Today our MSc class had the incredible opportunity to go back to Howietown, the commercial fish farm owned and operated by the University of Stirling.  There, we saw the hatchery operation and helped the staff spawn their brown trout broodstock.

The broodstock are a population of fish that are kept for breeding purposes.  These are massive fish that have favourable traits that the farmers want to propagate to the offspring.   Under the staff’s supervision, we collected eggs from the females and milt from the males and mixed them together in buckets to fertilize the eggs.  These eggs were then placed in the hatchery, where they will incubate and hatch next spring.

This was an amazing opportunity to get some hands-on experience with spawning broodstock…I will let the pictures speak for themselves!

Expelling the eggs from a female

'Milking' a male- the white fluid is milt that contains sperm

My fish was very ripe and expelled her eggs easily!

Mixing the milt with the eggs completes the process of fertilization

These eggs have been fertilized and will incubate in this hatchery until they hatch in the spring

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