Earlier this month, a tornado of fish were dropped from an aircraft into water bodies in the state of Utah. While it may seem bizarre, nevertheless it is an effort to restock the lakes with marine life albeit aerially. Aerial fish stocking has been utilised in Utah since the early 1950s, and this method has been used to fill over 200 remote lakes in the state.
The bizarre phenomenon was explained by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, who put up a video on Friday on Facebook. The video clip shows crews filling a small aircraft with scores of “fingerlings,” or fish under the age of one, before they are dropped out of a chute into more than 200 high-elevation lakes in Utah that are not accessible by other means.
The conservation agency also said that the plane holds hundreds of pounds of water and can drop up to 35,000 fish in a single trip without reloading. They also claimed that the survival of marine life via the aerial route is incredibly high.
“The fish are between 1-3 inches long, so they flutter down slowly to the water,” the agency said on Facebook. The department also explained that due to their size, combined with a slowed fall from high altitude, ensured the survival rate between 95 and 99 percent of the fish upon hitting the water.
As these lakes are located in remote areas of the United States, releasing the fish by air is a more effective method of restocking the bodies of water than transporting them by ground. There are quite a few challenges like maintaining sufficient oxygen levels in packed tanks among others when transporting them by land over long distances.
The mountains of Utah are a popular hiking and camping destination. Tourists often flock to enjoy fishing in the serene mountain lakes, which requires the lakes to be restocked every year.