Fish hatcheries are vital for maintaining fish populations across the United States and are indoor-outdoor facilities – that which are a great location for tours and field trips. These environments are sensitive, and biosecurity is a top priority to raise healthy fish for restocking ponds, lakes, and rivers, creating a thriving ecosystem and provision for recreational fishing. Every step in the process is precise, measured for vitality and growth with scientific teams, tools, and applications. The atmospheric gas industry plays a role in oxygenating water that is optimal for healthy fish to be released into the wild.
There are several steps in the fish hatchery process that occur: spawning, incubating, hatching, raising, and restocking fish. Often in this process, eggs and fingerlings are shipped to other hatchery locations in neighboring states to provide new species of fish to be raised and exported to where they need restocking.
When fertilized eggs are shipped to the hatchery, they are incubated until they hatch and outgrow attached feeding sacks. As soon as they become more active, fingerlings are transferred to filtered indoor pools where they are fed and monitored, raised to be at least two inches in length. Once developed to this size, they’re moved outdoors to larger pools where they are kept sometimes up to four to five years. Mature fish have a greater chance of surviving in the wild.
Each hatchery produces somewhere around five million eggs. Different species of fish spawn at different months of the year. Other than the cold winter months, there is little downtime in egg production. Breeding groups, called brood stocks, stay at each hatchery. Some fish are kept at the hatchery from egg to maturity to join the brood stock.
Tens of thousands of each fish species are raised in a single hatchery for conservation and restoration efforts, where they can then be shipped all over the United States. Restocking can be essential each year if there are fish kills induced by low water levels, high water temperature, pollution, disease, or imbalanced pH and alkalinity. However, one of the main causes of a fish kill is low oxygen levels, which can be combatted by installing dissolved oxygen applications – in smaller, well-managed ponds.
Oxygen really is the magic element for creating the optimal environment of clean water for every stage in the fish’s development, both in the wild where possible, and in the facilities that raise them.
Hatcheries must function as their own water treatment facilities to maintain high oxygen levels. The water must be a specific temperature, void of some gases and minerals, and abundant in others, like oxygen. Degassers are machines that remove nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and dissolved iron, and replace unwanted gases with dissolved oxygen.
Fish are easily stressed creatures. Just as a deep breath can reset our central nervous systems, pure oxygen does a wonder in keeping fish calm. Oxygen is dissolved directly into water, improving water purity, overall fish health, and promoting growth. With greater oxygenation comes greater energy, and with greater energy comes a greater appetite, and faster growth. The most practical way to get the job done is to inject oxygen into tanks, raceways, and treated water directly.
Cryogenic oxygen tanks are the most practical method of gas delivery, as their gas levels may be monitored via a remote telemetry process. This process alerts the oxygen distributor when the tank needs refilling. High pressure tanks may be used but are only practical on very small scales rather than high functioning hatcheries operated by state game and wildlife facilities.
Overfishing practices, climate change, and pollution degrade ecosystems, making it difficult for fish to replenish their populations naturally. In partnership with habitat rehabilitation and ecosystem management systems, hatcheries are stewarding and restoring nature, and dissolved oxygen is raising healthy fish to thrive in new waters.
Rocky Mountain Air Solutions operates in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nebraska, and has the tools to provide bulk oxygen to fish hatcheries in each of these great states. With our partnership, your hatchery can rely on an atmospheric gas partner that serves the aquaculture industry with flawless dependability as you work diligently to maintain the precious ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains.
Representatives of your local branch are available for quotes or consultations on cryogenic oxygen tanks or high-pressure cylinders for your fish farming or stocking needs. Contact us today. We look forward to serving you in this exciting application!