A smallmouth bass nest. Photo by Nick Bloomfield/USFWS.
Spring time means love is in the air at Genoa NFH. All of the brood fish we have on station, which includes Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Yellow Perch, Fathead Minnow, and Golden Shiner, were moved into their own ponds in March. These species are all suited for spawning in lentic environments, where there is no flow. This is in contrast to the spawning habits of fish like Walleye and Lake Sturgeon, where we need to spawn the fish manually and puts the eggs in a jar that mimics the flowing lotic environment until hatch occurs. This is much more labor intensive than the natural spawning that occurs in the ponds. All that we need to do for these brood fish is maintain water quality until it comes time to do some harvesting. Hopefully, these brood fish haven’t heard all the talk about social distancing and the hatchery will be crawling with little fish destined for areas throughout the Midwest and as future hosts for our mussel program!
By: Nick Bloomfield