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Aerial stocking: Utah wildlife departments drop fish into lakes from airplanes

This low-flying plane isn’t just taking a scenic ride. It’s about to stock the lake it’s flying over with up to 1,000 native fish… by dropping them from the sky. The 2013 GoPro video by Ted Hallows, Supervisor at Kamas State Fish Hatchery in Utah, shares how wildlife departments around the country repopulate remote lakes with different species of native fish by plane:

It’s a strategy that’s been used since 1956, a more efficient option than hiking by foot to the lakes with fish in large buckets. From Hallows’ write up in Wildlife Review (pdf):

Many of the lakes in Utah are excellent places to fish, but you can’t get to them with a truck or a car. The Uinta Mountains alone have more than 650 fishable lakes. The best way to stock many of these valuable fisheries—and sometimes the only way to stock them—is from the air…

What used to take the old-time biologists and their pack trains months to stock can now be stocked in a few hours with an airplane. And using an airplane stresses the fish less. That means more of them will survive their fall to the water.

According to Utah’s Department of Natural Resources, via Pattern, more than 95% of the fish survive the drop. Hallows explains, “They kind of flutter down, so they don’t impact very hard. They flutter with the water and they do really well.” Here’s one more:

Next: More GoPro videos and more videos with airplanes.

[noindex]Plus: Flying Fish, hunted underwater and in the air, an osprey fishing in spectacular super slow motion, and Going Fishing, a stop motion animation by Guldies.[/noindex]

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