2017 salmon imprinting starts with 30,216 eyed salmon eggs!

Salmon, Matt, Priya, and Bonnie; Jan 5, 2017

A CWCAP crew of Rick, David, Matt, Priya, and Bonnie brought back 30,216 eyed salmon eggs from Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery. Eggs are being distributed on trays that will be placed into Egg incubators; Jan 5, 2017

Every Spring CWCAP receives salmon eggs and salmon fry from the Suquamish Tribe’s Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery.

The Les Malmgren Imprint Pond has two types of tanks, one type is for incubating eggs and another is for imprinting salmon fry.  We now have 30,216 eyed salmon eggs in the Egg incubator/Self-release tanks.

Eyed eggs are fertilized salmon eggs that have developed to the stage where a black dot representing the eye and the early nervous system is easily visible.  At this stage, the very early gyrating movements can can also be easily seen within the egg shell.

On trays, the eggs will eventually hatch and drop through the tray mesh to the bottom of the incubator tank where they will “relax” as alevin, the stage in which they feed from their largish egg/yolk sac.

Below is a short clip by Matt Kuhar, long time CWCAP member, taken on Jan 10, ’17 —just 5 days after the photo above!

Below is another short clip by Matt Kuhar, taken on Jan 15, ’17 —just 10 days after the photo above!

At some time in about 70-90 days after fertilization, the fish will have consumed all of their egg/yolk sac, rise in the water column, and prepare to search for food.  As they fuse the seam where the egg/yolk sac was (termed buttoning up), they will eventually rise to the top of the tank and be caught in the water current exiting the self-release pipe where they will be shunted directly into Venema Creek.

Chum-salmon_hatchery-life-stage_labeledCWCAP Imprint Stewards don’t need to feed this batch of fish since they will have spent their time at the Imprint Pond feeding off their egg/yolk sacs before self-releasing into the creek.  These fish will spend from a few days to a week or so moving from Venema to Piper’s Creek where an optimum tide will help them move to the eel grass off of Carkeek Beach.

Next: CWCAP will receive 35,000 salmon fry towards the end of January.  Those approximately 1 to 1.5 inch fish will be placed in the 900 gallon Imprint Pond where they will be fed and imprinted 3 times per day for at least a month.  This is when we’ll place Salmon Feeding signs out so park visitors can visit, learn about the salmon life cycle, and of course help feed the fish!

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