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See a Steelhead’s First Moments of Life

posted: 07/28/15
by: Discovery.com Staff

The US Fish & Wildlife Service posted this remarkable video of a steelhead (also known as a rainbow trout) hatching at Quilcene National Fish Hatchery in Washington State:


Quilcene houses a major conservation project intended to reverse an alarming decline in steelhead numbers in Washington State.

"Using a unique incubation facility, the Quilcene NFH incubates up to 18,000 embryos collected from natural spawning winter steelhead. Quilcene NFH's 'Isolation Building' plays a critical role in ensuring that no fish disease organisms are spread between the streams. The fish are inspected by fish health specialists then transferred [...] for long-term rearing," the agency explains.

"Ultimately the fish are planted back to their native streams as juveniles or adults as part of the study. Using this incubating facility an estimated 80% of the embryos are expected to survive to adulthood versus the estimated survivorship of only 0.05% if left in the natural environment."

Eventually, the fish will grow to look something like this:

Underwater Rainbow Trout
PPAMPicture/iStock

Click here to learn more about the Hood Canal Steelhead Project

Learn more about animals hatching:

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