RIVERDALE Trout eggs that nearly spoiled because of a dispute over the movement of bison in Montana have arrived at the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery.
The eggs had been held in chilled water to thwart development. Now their development is back under way in the warm water supplied to their holding jars and the hatchery's Salmon Building. Eyes could be seen in the eggs this past week.
"We received 100,000 Shasta rainbow eggs from Ennis on Dec. 30," said Jerry Tishmack, fish biologist, Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery.
Kim Fundingsland/MDN - - Jerry Tishmack, Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery, checks on the development of Chinook salmon. The salmon are scheduled to be released later this year.
The trout should begin emerging from their orange eggs this week. What percentage develops remains to be seen. Whatever the success is, it will be much better than the alternative that nearly happened.
Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer had blocked earlier shipments of trout eggs from the Ennis, Mont., hatchery in an effort to persuade the Interior Department to change how it manages other wildlife, most notably the movement of bison. Schweitzer had requested that some bison being removed from Yellowstone National Park be transferred to the National Bison Range near Moiese in northwest Montana. Interior officials said no, but have since agreed to provide more information of activities at the Bison Range. That promise was apparently enough for Schweitzer to permit the shipment of the eggs.
New Hampshire and Utah received trout eggs from Ennis just as the eggs were nearing spoiling. North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska were next on the list. The Ennis Hatchery is located just northwest of Yellowstone National Park.
The Shasta rainbows from Montana joined thousands of other trout in various stages of development at the Garrison Hatchery 60,000 one year old Shastas, 60,000 Hot Creek rainbows, 20,000 cutthroats and 20,000 1-year-old brown trout.
Several of the large, blue tanks in the Salmon Building contain young Chinook sal-mon hatched from eggs harvested from the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea. The last of the salmon hatched Oct. 21.
"They are on feed and doing good," Tishmack said. "We had some great eye-ups some were in the 70 percentile. Those eggs from salmon coming out of the river seemed to be a little better than the ones from the lake."
Hatching success for salmon eggs often runs from 35 to 40 percent.
"Fifty is good and 70 is phenomenal," Tishmack said. "We'll have 250,000 to split between stocking in the river and the lake."