Collecting Steelhead to Ensure Fish for the Future
Dozens of volunteers put on waders and grabbed nets today to collect steelhead from lower Trout Run in Fairview.
Students from Oil City High School and Clarion University helped the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission collect the big fish as they entered the creek to spawn.
Student volunteer Sarah Fischer said, "They don't swim right into your net. You have to move around, go where they are all clumped."
Steelhead have trouble naturally reproducing in our area, so experts step in to help.
Workers take the steelhead to the nearby Fairview Hatchery where they obtain eggs.
The eggs are then fertilized and eventually the small fish are released.
More than 700 steelhead were collected today, a critical step in ensuring future generations of the popular fish.
Hatchery Foreman Ben Dutko said,"This is what allows us to make all the fish. Most of the fish you see here come from the hatchery where we make the eggs, raise the fish and stock. We stock them back out for the fishermen."
The steelhead are collected several times during their spawning period of mid November to mid February.