Week Seven Update: (June 6-10)
Resource Management Technician
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Aurora District- 905-713-7730
The first full week of no trap netting on Gloucester Pool in search of muskies for an egg collection is now behind us and crews from Midhurst and Aurora went back to their busy routines with other field and office work. Both Blue Jay Creek and Fleming Hatchery staff remained very busy as well doing their utmost to ensure each precious egg and newly hatched fry was getting the best care possible. Thankfully those big muskie-to-be, have the most dedicated hatchery staff imaginable to ensure their well-being. In this week’s update we are fortunate to have two good week-ending reports – supplied from Paul Vieira at Blue Jay and Mark Newell, at Fleming.
Blue Jay Creek::
Egg survival was poor maybe due to the late spawning?
All of the Musky have hatched and fish are living off of their yolk sacs, feeding will start soon. They look like Balsam Fir needles.
Presently we have 40 fry from the Pointe Au Baril family
1200 fry from G Pool family
Paul M still has feelers out with our lake unit colleges in case they come across any ripe fish, it is pretty late in the game though.
One of the tanks with young muskie fry
A close up of some great looking muskie fry
Similar story here… right down to the balsam fir needles! I’ve used that comparison many times over the years!
We are expecting swim up to begin at any time. The battle of feeding strategies is on repeat in my brain as I try to figure out how to maximize success of the few fry we do have. Current count is around 1575 but there are maybe 5% of those that are really borderline… alive but bent, stunted or otherwise challenged. So call it 1500 quality looking fry.
I wouldn’t wish this scenario on anyone, it is going to be a tough go!
5% challenged sac fry: some good quality fry with a few of their “challenged” siblings in the bottom right corner
2016 late stage sac fry: shows a good resolution shot of some of the high quality fry at Fleming
Bent Muskellunge fry. This pic taken 1st week of June shortly after hatch. It shows some of the severely challenged fry removed by the hatchery staff. There was a higher than usual proportion of these in this particular family.
… warm temp at collection or old donor fish (senescence)? Combination?
Fathead Minnow Fry:
These tiny almost transparent newly hatched Fatheads can be great food for baby muskies! However once they have a taste of these will they ever accept manufactured diet? Unlikely!
However, Mark Newell from Fleming is preparing for all eventualities saying
“It may come to the point where we may HAVE to feed the young muskie these fatheads so we are scrambling right now to figure out how to optimize our production, harvest and sorting of these young fry”.