Biologists and hatcheries give Colorado fish a helping hand |

Biologists and hatcheries give Colorado fish a helping hand

RJ Sangosti, The Denver PostSteve Ostdiek, left, and Clark Baker catch salmon near Shadow Mountain Reservoir dam outside Grand Lake.

GRANBY – In the frosty morning mist, two government biologists wade knee-deep in the cold Colorado River, below the first of its many dams, dragging a net and scooping up hundreds of swollen-bellied kokanee salmon.

Most are females ready to lay their eggs – the natural way – in some high shallow pool.

But biologists Jon Ewert and Clark Baker intervene. They tow the net filled with shiny, crimson fish into a manmade side channel that leads, through an underwater metal gate, into a shed.

There they engage in a brisk bit of biological engineering, grabbing each slippery salmon and squeezing it over a bowl. Their fingers force streams of peach-colored eggs from the females, and milky sperm from the males. Ewert and Baker say they will squeeze the eggs and sperm from 16,000 fish over the next few weeks.

Read more: Biologists and hatcheries give Colorado fish a helping hand – The Denver Post

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