Fantastic 2008 Salmon returns - and ASF Raffle prizes
Revolutionary new hatchery method
In the Eira/Aura river - which once held salmon with an avg weight of 12-13 kg - a new hatchery release method is developed, with very good results. The avg waterflow in the lower river - Eira - is down to 1/3 of what it once was due to abstraction, and the upper river - Aura - is often more or less empty.
To compensate for this (huge loss of spawning habitat) , the regulator - Statkraft (Norwegian State-owned power company) - has to release smolt in the Eira river every year. This year the return-rate from the sea was much bigger (3 x) than earlier, which is said do be down to a new release method for the smolt. In total 3,7 tons were caught, on the 8 km stretch called Eira river from the sea to the Eikesdal lake :
* Blood and chlorine tests are used , to establish that first week of May is THE smoltification week
* The fish is fed with slice-feed (anti - sealice treatment) before being acclimatised in the river in special pens.
* Then the fish is put in an acclimatisation pen - with a roof - where the smolt is kept for 2 nights, the third night the smolt is released in the river. The release happens at night to greatly reduce predation from gulls and other animals in the estuary.
The slice-effect lasts 5 weeks, until the smolt should be offshore, away from fish-farms and high sealice-levels caused by fishfarms.
Maybe something to learn here, for others operating hatcheries ?