An airplane can drop 35,000 fingerling fish at a time
Fish are flying through the sky in Utah and landing safely in some of the state's most remote lakes, thanks to a highly efficient aerial restocking program.
Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) recently released video footage of planes dropping loads of fish into remote lakes in the southern part of the state. According to Fox News, this method was used to restock around 200 high-elevation lakes in one week.
According to UDWR, the aerial method for restocking lakes has been used since the 1950s because the lakes are not accessible by vehicle. An airplane can drop 35,000 fingerling fish in a single flight without reloading.
The video shows fish being loaded into a tank inside a single-engine plane. The pilot then flies above the lakes and releases the fish into the water.
In a FAQ posted about the aerial fish restocking, the UDWR said the survival rate for the small fish is high.
The air slows their drop and they fall a bit like leaves. The slower fall allows the fish to survive. If the fish were larger, the survival rate would not be as high. We make sure to only aerially stock fish that range from 1–3 inches long. Fish are more stressed when transported by ground because it is difficult to maintain their required oxygen levels in small, packable tanks for such long distances. (Our high-mountain lakes are often many miles from any road).