One of my favorite things about photography is the ability to freeze time. Capturing just a small fraction of a second turns seemingly ordinary tasks, like weighing fish at a fish hatchery, into a brilliantly dramatic scene.
I decided to visit Coleman National Fish Hatchery, and arrived at around 8:30 in the morning. As I was walking along the path by the massive growing tanks, I saw that there was a group of hatchery workers with buckets, nets, and a truck. I was intrigued, and after talking to one of the workers, he gave me permission to photograph them.
They worked on one growing tank at a time, large enough to hold many thousands of young fish. They first poured water into a large metal bucket.
Then they netted fish. The ones in these tanks were trout.
And put the fish into the large metal bucket.
They used a smaller net to catch between 25 – 50 fish from the metal bucket.
Then put those into a smaller plastic bucket, on a scale.
After being weighed the fish were returned to the main holding tank, and the workers counted how many fish had been weighed as they poured them, one by one, back into the tank. The numbers were charted.
After several smaller buckets of fish were weighed and counted, any remaining fish in the big bucket were dumped back into the holding tank.
They repeated this process for every one of the large holding tanks, and I happily followed them with my camera. This was such a unique photo opportunity, and I took advantage of every second!
Shoutout to the guys at the Coleman National Fish Hatchery for their hard word in helping preserve these native species of fish! They have a production goal of 13 million fish every year.
That’s a lot of fish.