Thursday, 27 June 2013

Trout released in Stronsay's Meikle Water

Spring was in the air on March 28th when the time had come to release the alevins hatched at the Stronsay School. The island was bathed in sunshine and the surface of the Meikle Water was hardly broken by a gentle breeze from the east.
The 200 odd young trout hatched at the Stronsay School were carried in a basin to the edge of the loch and then transferred into plastic pouches to allow every pupil to release a dozen fish each.
It was a good opportunity to learn about the wildlife with which our trout would be sharing their new habitat: we realised that the tiny alevins would need to be extra careful as many predators such as mergansers, herons, cormorants, eels, otters and even some of the bigger trout wouldn’t mind a little fishy snack! Our alevins would have a more modest diet for the first year, consisting mainly of daphnia, midges at various stages of development, freshwater shrimps and insects.
Pupils gently released the fry in the vicinity of weed beds to provide them with enough cover from predators, after checking the loch water temperature (3⁰C) was as close as possible to the water in which  the alevins had been transported  (4⁰C), in order to avoid thermal shock.
A big thank you to Mrs. Evans who accompanied the children and also to Steve, our janitor who supervised the pupils’ visits to our hatchery on a daily basis over the last couple of months.

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