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Trailers clip millions of fins so anglers can spot the keepers

Discussion in 'Idaho Flyway Forum' started by sdkidaho, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. sdkidaho

    sdkidaho Decoy, Gun Dog, Christian, Idaho, Montana/Wyoming Moderator Flyway Manager

    Jan 2, 2006
    "Here's your task: Clip millions of tiny fins off young salmon and steelhead so they can be identified as hatchery fish when they return from the ocean. Do it in a few months and at nine different hatcheries from Springfield to Orofino. You will also need to insert a needle-tip sized wire tag into noses of many of them, and a tiny electronic tracking device into hundreds of thousands of others.

    That task used to take many people and lots of nimble fingers, but now it's been largely automated by a fleet of specialized trailers that do much of the work.

    The process is vital to Idaho's salmon and steelhead fishing because it allows hatchery fish to be caught by anglers while also protecting wild and naturally produced fish. It also provides important data for fish managers, habitat-improvement programs, restoration and conservation efforts, hatchery origins, and more.

    And then there's the "gee whiz" factor, which is hard to appreciate until you've seen the trailers and crews who operate them in action. "

    I didn't know they did this - pretty big task. Full article here:
  2. HaydenHunter

    HaydenHunter Elite Refuge Member

    Dec 4, 2000
    Hayden Lake, ID USA
  3. Mean Gene

    Mean Gene Moderator Moderator Flyway Manager

    Oct 26, 2000
    NE South Dakota
    In the Klamath River you can keep 1 hatchery steelhead, identified by the clipped fin. However, apparently the hatchery quit clipping fins several years ago. Back door way to make it all catch and release.

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