Effectively ensuring a higher survival rate among returning fish and reintroducing spawning fish to native streams.
Fish reared in offsite pens have been shown to grow at the same rate as those reared in hatchery raceways. But they do so with as much as 40 percent less food, because the water in which they’re kept provides the same natural nutrients they will eat once released. This reduces the cost of providing food, but it also “trains” the fish to feed themselves. Hatchery fish are reliant upon feed pellets, and when they’re first released into the wild they have to learn from scratch how to find food. For fish reared in offsite net pens, this head start increases the chances of survival. Pen rearing also allows fish to imprint on a location other than a hatchery, creating future returns to a target area.
Fish First programs are not proprietary and we encourage and hope today's and future generations of fishermen will continuously seek ways to save our fish.