Final results for the 2020-21 hatchery cycle were somewhat disappointing, as initial difficulties in establishing a new treatment regime following transferring to the use of Formalin40 necessitated the return of two larger hens prior to stripping.
With the remaining brood hens being small grilse the final egg count was in the lower 20,000’s, and whilst egg losses were initially small a pump failure impacted on the final stocking figure, which, after these losses amounted to just over 18,000; split between swim-up and reared on fry.
Once again Covid restrictions applied for much of the time and we are indebted to Graham Hake and Nick Lintott for keeping the hatchery operating through this difficult time.
Encouragingly during the season a number of multi sea winter fish, predominantly hens, were taken, and this pattern continued once brood fish collection started for this year. A number of good size hens were put in the hatchery, but as in some previous years cock fish have been hard to find, and those taken were mainly small. However they do have a tendency to be more productive of milt than that the larger cocks.
Once again we are grateful to our brood stock collectors who have worked hard, particularly in tracking down cock fish.
We now have the task of keeping the brood stock free of infection until they are ready to strip, hopefully this will be during early December, although much depends on water temperature. The water cooler and new egg tray system introduced by Graham have proved successful in the last few years.
With all our volunteers getting older we could really do with some younger new blood so if you feel you could be interested please contact Arthur White. The commitment level is up to you, but any help, preferably on an agreed time pattern will be most welcome.
It is dangerous to predict the likely outcome of this year’s egg production, but initial signs are encouraging, and hopefully an improvement will be achieved over the last two years’ performance. 2020 catch figures for the Lynher indicate that the river has performed better when compared to the smaller South West rivers, and, whilst we cannot directly assess hatchery performance due to lack of fin-clipping, signs are that the fish run has improved.
Perhaps this is the best measure of the likely success of the hatchery.