video NEFSC Multimedia: Video

Salmon Egg Planting in Maine

Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Graham Goulette (video); Heather Soulen (editing), NEFSC

To plant salmon eggs, one crew member operates a water cannon through an aluminum cone sending a jet of water into the gravely river/stream bottom. The cannon blasts fine sediments away to create more space in between individual pieces of gravel for the eggs to occupy. Another crew member deposits 400 to 800 eggs into each cone. After the eggs sink to the bottom - below the surface of the substrate - another crew member slowly pulls the cone up from the gravelly river bottom, causing water suction to fill the the spaces with eggs. This method mimics the natural process used by adult Atlantic salmon.