That's what it's all about for Ryan Bosserman, a biologist with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, and his crew at the Apple Grove warm water hatchery. A good haul wrapping up months of hard work, and this time, we're hauling in hundreds of paddle fish. They also raise musky, catfish and walleyes here, many come from brood stock taken from the Ohio River. The paddle fish get huge!
"We'll use gill nets on the Ohio River and collect brood fish and they're five feet long and weigh 40 to 60 pounds. We collect musky at a few different places and we also collect brood stock walleye. It takes a lot of space and a lot of time to get them up to breeding size." says Bosserman.
After the fish are collected from the pond, they're brought back to where they started...to these tanks at the hatchery.
"We're getting a count of the fish so that way when we put them on the trucks, we know how many we're loading up. It's important so we make sure we get our stocking requirements for the places getting stocked." says Bosserman.
But in between the fry stage and the final trip to the stocking trucks, Ryan and his guys put in a lot of time to make sure you have plenty of fish to catch.
"It's a lot of work, it's not all glory. Probably 30% of the year we're doing hands on fish work, the other 70% it could be mowing grass or cleaning pounds, we're not just working with fish, we're doing a little bit of everything." says Bosserman.
Ryan, we're glad you are.
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