A New Generation…

A new generation of salmonids begins……………………………….

Today (11/4/2015), we had our DFO gurus Sandie Hollick-Kenyon and Scott Ducharme on site at the hatchery to help start our Chum egg incubation from the 2015 brood year.  But it was only a start – the story goes like this………………………..

Sandie (our DFO Community Advisor) called earlier in the week and said that the Alouette River run of Chum was starting to slow.  Not a good sign when it wasn’t until next Saturday (11/7) that Noons was going out there to get all our Chum broodstock!  So Sandie suggested that as she was heading out there with another group on Wednesday (11/4), she would grab a bunch of eggs to bring back to Noons in case we were short the following Saturday.  Good plan!!

So this afternoon at around 2pm, both Sandie and Scott showed up at Noons Creek with an estimated 27,500 Chum eggs (circa 11 fish @ 2500 eggs per fish) and 12 bags of milt (male sperm) to start the fertilisation and incubation process.

The eggs were divided evenly into 12 sterilised plastic bowls (arranged in a long row), and into each approx. 75% of each bag of milt was emptied. The bag of milt was then passed along to the bowl to the right and the rest emptied into that one.  This is done so that each female’s eggs are fertilised by more than one male…….it helps to strengthen the gene pools.

After fertilisation, the eggs are then sterilised in ‘ovadine’ solution to kill any impurities or bacteria on the eggs for 10 minutes. Then they are placed in ‘heath trays’ and carefully placed in our stacks in the incubation room.  They will now stay undisturbed (with fresh creek water running over them constantly) until the eggs develop the ‘eyed’ stage – when you can see the little black dot on the eggs that is the fish’s eye.

What happens after that is another story……………….you’ll have to wait until the next exciting episode of ‘Noons Creek Nannies‘!

Many thanks to both Sandie and Scott – and Noons volunteers Aude BertoncelloDave Bennie and Doug Calder for helping out today!

And special thanks to Noons stalwart Eric Olsen for getting everything ready earlier this morning in preparation for the whole exercise!!!!

Below are some photos taken today of the fertilisation and incubation process…….enjoy!!!

Photo credits:  Brian Wormald


Sandie Hollick-Kenyon (DFO) separating the Chum eggs into 12 equal sized portions – prior to fertilisation. The small bags of milt are just to the left of the bowls – ready to pour on the eggs.


Volunteer Aude BERTONCELLO ‘stirring’ the eggs after the milt (sperm) has been added – to fertilise them.


Sandie checking that all looks good before sterilising the eggs prior to placing in the incubation room.


PMES Vice President Dave Bennie (left) helps Scott Ducharme (DFO) do the housekeeping – washing up after the fertilisation process!


Chum eggs carefully placed in a ‘heath tray’ in our incubation stacks after being sterilised of any impurities or bacteria.


Some immediately noticeable infertile or dead eggs are removed to prevent bacteria growth on the remaining healthy eggs.




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