Restocking fish in US lakes – from the air
Friday 16 Jul 2021Thought this story would appeal to the fishermen, fisherwomen and land managers out there. Fish are being dropped by the thousands from planes over lakes in Utah, US, and footage of the aerial descent has become a guilty pleasure on social media.
State officials say the strange, but officially sanctioned, practice is part of an ”extreme fish stocking” programme that dumps up to 35,000 fish at a time over “high elevation lakes across the state”. The video below of a recent drop shows the fish are literally spewed from the underbelly of planes – and then free-fall to earth.
“The fish are between 2.5-7.6cm long, so they flutter down slowly to the water,” the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources reported. “These lakes are not accessible by vehicle and other means of stocking.” Officials say they’ve been air dropping fish into lakes since the 1950s, and the survival rate is more than 95 per cent.
The state’s video has got nearly 100,000 views, inspiring every imaginable “skydiving fish” pun. There has also been growing speculation over what it’s like to get smacked in the head by the fish, with some people trying to calculate the force at which fish hit the water.
State officials didn’t say if anyone had ever been hit in a fish drop, but noted the hefty payload of fish and water weighs several hundred pounds.
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