The annual egg take at New York State’s Oneida Fish Hatchery began on March 31st this year. Despite staffing limitations due to COVID-19 restrictions, seven nets were set and a total of 12,424 walleye were collected. Staff processed 5,190 females to obtain this year’s 270 million egg quota in eight days. Eggs are currently hatching, and stocking across the state is underway.
Salmon River Hatchery staff completed the steelhead egg take on April 1st, resulting in over 1.5 million eggs collected from 445 Washington strain steelhead. Fish hatched from these eggs will be raised in the hatchery for approximately one year and stocked as spring yearlings in 2022.
Steelhead are stocked every spring in tributaries to Lake Ontario and Lake Erie where they contribute to both tributary and open lake fisheries. Current Lake Ontario steelhead stocking includes 497,700 yearlings and Lake Erie stocking includes 127,500 yearlings.
To watch what happens during the egg take in the hatchery, view DEC’s Facebook Live video from Saturday, April 3rd.
Photos, from above: walleye egg collection, and steelhead egg collection courtesy DEC.