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Flying Fish ODFW Stocks High Cascade Lakes with a Chopper

Categories: Guest Connection Meadows Cares Transportation

Every two years the Oregon Division of Fish and Wildlife stocks fingerling trout in high mountain lakes. They use a helicopter to transport up to 24,000 fish per load to their destinations. Fish biologists study the lakes to determine the appropriate amount of fish and mixture of species of trout - rainbow, brook and cutthroat - to populate.

The fish are separated into canisters and then poured into 30 different vats in the “Rudy” transport device. Each vat is oxygenated to keep the trout thriving during their flights, which can take up to an hour per loop.

Fish Biologist Erik Moberly says 350 lakes will be populated with a few hundred thousand fish. While they are just fingerlings now, they should grow to be 8 - 12 inches by next summer to provide a truly unique wilderness fishing experience.