Workers scramble to save 250,000 young fish

  • Jun. 15, 2005 6:00 a.m.

Workers at the Yakoun Lake fish hatchery on Marie Lake were scrambling Wednesday evening to save 250,000 salmon fry from possible death, caused by the oil spill a kilometre or so across the lake.
The hatchery held 200,000 Chinook and 50,000 Coho fry Wednesday morning. By midnight it’s expected all will have been released into the Yakoun River, well away from the spill.
The work is not easy. The fish, held in the lake in pens, are transferred by net to 5 gallon pails, then the pails are carried by hand, two at a time, along the 100 metres or so walkway to shore, where they are poured into a tank on the back of a pickup. Once, full, the pickup is driven to the river and the fish released.
Hatchery manager Darren Edgars anticipated at least ten trips, and did not expect to be finished until midnight.
Crews had a bit of luck-the wind was keeping the oil in the lake away from the hatchery. “We got to get it before the wind switches,” Mr. Edgars said.
He said they were going to release the fish in a week or so anyway, and that he expects their survival rate to he high. He said the crew were planning.