During our first round project, my team and I are serving in Eastern Iowa in a county along the Mississippi River. A cool thing about this is that we get to do things like spend a day working on the Mississippi and working in a fish hatchery making baby fish. That’s right folks, baby fish. But first, let me tell you about the rest of our day.
We headed out last Wednesday and it was cold, cloudy, and snow was predicted. Did that faze us? No! Did we think, it’s took cold to go out on the Mississippi River and check fish nets and get wet along with being ridiculously cold? Never! Did we realize that maybe it wasn’t the best idea after we were cold and wet and it started to snow. Ok, maybe, but did we quit? Heck No!
We were on the river checking fish traps for Northern Pike. Once we got to a net, we would pull it up and release any fish that weren’t Northern Pike. If we had Northern Pike, we would put them in a holding tank on the boat. One at a time, we would take the Northern Pike out and weigh them, measure them, and then we would tag them. We tagged them, so that in the future if someone caught it or it washed up somewhere dead, we would have the information available to know how far the fish had traveled since being in the Mississippi.
After it really started to snow and we had all of the traps checked, we headed into the fishery to make fish babies. This was an interesting process to me, as I had never thought much about what goes into the process. To start the process, they give a quick non harmful shock to a female fish so that they can get eggs from her. They didn’t cut her or anything, it was like she was just using the bathroom. They put the eggs into a dish, and then shocked a male fish. After they shocked him, they put his sperm in the same dish and mixed it with the eggs.
After mixing the fish stuff together, they put it into a tube that had water bubbling in it. It kind of reminded me of a lava lamp in a way. ANYWAY, once in the tube, the fertilized eggs will continue to float around for a few days before, VOILA! fish babies are made! Yes folks, it’s that simple. And that’s how you make fish babies.