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Eyed Trout Egg success?

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#1 HoundsNTrout

  • NANFA Guest
  • Pulaski, NY

Posted 23 March 2018 - 01:14 PM

Hey folks new to the forum here.  I've been raising brook trout, browns and Kamloops rainbows for 5 years here in NY.  Our native fish here is the Brookie.  I have caught a 4 1/2 pounder in the middle of the Adirondacks 2 years ago in remote pond but its still off the record by 1.5 pounds.  But that's another can of worms.   LOL  

​Anyway, anyone successfully had any salmonid eggs eye-up?  and of course hatch?   

​I've been buying eyed eggs locally from a few hatcheries and also out West from Neal at Cold Springs, awesome folks full of knowledge.  

​These eggs always hatch with minimal loss.  

​I'm totally confident on the time the females are ripe and they are not triploid  LOL  

​I've followed the USFW protocol and just can't get them to eye up.  

​Temps good, water MOVEMENT is good, good DO, the whole nine.  I use semi recycled system with 10% influx.  

​I put them in a 300G tote suspended in the upper 10 inches or so of the tank in the hatching basket.  

​Do the eggs NEED to be right over the airstone?  in other words moving slightly?  
​And is 10% maybe not enough new water coming in?  

​I could go to 50% but it will start getting my well pump to cycle too much. 

​Any insight or questions for me?   Thanks a bunch. 

I've had most all the eyed eggs I have picked up or ordered hatch and they too were in the basket and NOT above the airstone.  
​LOTS of water movement and DO in the tank, they should freak'n eye up.  LOL  


Edited by HoundsNTrout, 23 March 2018 - 01:14 PM.

#2 Matt DeLaVega

Matt DeLaVega
  • Forum Staff
  • Ohio

Posted 23 March 2018 - 01:24 PM

Cecil Baird (AZ9 is forum handle) has been hatching trout. Try to catch him. Hopefully he will chime in.

The member formerly known as Skipjack

#3 centrarchid

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 23 March 2018 - 01:54 PM

I spawn Rainbow Trout, usually to make triploids, but switching over to demonstrating process.

Find ways for people not already interested in natives to value them.

#4 az9

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 23 March 2018 - 05:01 PM

Here's HoundNTrout's questions and my responses. He sent me a message. I'm honored you guys referred me although I don't claim to be an expert. He probably knows more than I do!  


Hello there, do you mind if I pick your brain? JUST came across this forum. Doesn't seem too awfully active but saw a post about your trout hatching. 


No don’t mind you picking my brain as long as I can do likewise! LOL I can't guarantee I know more than you do and probably don't! 

NANFA used to be more active but I think Facebook is doing a number on all forums. I have a taxidermy forum I frequent and it too is suffering from lack of activity. It may just be the time of year. NANFA has one of the most professional newsletters I have ever seen! 


I've been raising trout in almost the exact same manor as you for the past 6 years. I started purchasing eyed eggs from a small outfit in Utah Cold Springs. Neal is great. 


Awesome! As you may know I got my eggs from Neal too. Great to hear from someone that is doing the same thing I am. I also hatch and rear other species in RA systems and outdoor ponds, and have never found many others out there doing it on the small scale like I am. New York eh? I will be fishing Pepacton south of you in June on my way to Massachusetts on my vacation. Last five days will be a workshop in NH to learn to mold and cast fish. 


QUESTION. Have you been successful in taking your own eggs? 

I am now trying to hatch my OWN eggs but so far no-go. LOL 


I have not yet. This fall will be my first time. (Browns and Brooks and maybe an attempt at producing tigers) I do want to still order some eggs from Neal as I don’t want to lose him as a supplier if for some reason things don’t work out. And although he has not said so, some suppliers of eggs frown on people using the offspring to produce their own trout eggs. I see Trout Lodge actually makes their buyers of diploid eggs sign an agreement not to do so. It makes sense in a way as there is a lot of investment and capital in producing a line of eggs. 


I have no issues knowing when is the right time. I take the eggs, do everything according to the Federal ( and local hatchery ) protocol. Have no issues there until about 2 weeks into it and all eggs either die or just don't eye-up. 


Are you using the dry or wet method of fertilizing? 


I use a DYI basket like yours and simply put it in a 300G IBC tote where I raise the fry to 4 inches before putting them into a pond or raceway. 


Anyway, no issues with the purchased eyed eggs, I just can't get mine to hatch. 


ANy suggestions? 


My system is well water, I have a chiller if needed, bio filtration with 55G drums stuffed with snow fencing. Not many issues there. 

I use small amount of water since its working so far ( up to 1000 ( 10-12 inch fish in 1500G tanks ) I think my fresh water influx is only 200G per day in those tanks and 50Gallons per day in the 300G totes. 


Do the egg baskets have to be directly over a bubbler? IS that what I may be doing wrong? Its getting me pissed I can't make them hatch. 


I don’t think the eggs need to be directly over the bubble as long as oxygen levels and circulation are good. I don’t put my eggs directly over the bubbler as long as there is good circulation in the tank. I worry there can be too much circulation especially with the delicate alevins. I get circulation from my diffuser, chiller, and the incoming water from my last filter when the water drops back in. 


Does the new/fresh water influx maybe have to be turned up higher? 


Not if your oxygen and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate issues aren’t a problem. And temps are optimum.


No problems with ammonia/n/n or dissolved oxygen or ph. All good there. 


Then that can be ruled out. 


Thanks for any input. It would appear you are doing almost exactly the same thing as I. 


Other forums are just full of 'fish tank or aquarium" people that always knock you down or know-it-alls. LOL 


Yeah for sure. I got banned from a forum because a guy was insanely jealous of me and had to prove he knew more. Never mind he had virtually no hands on experience. His last outburst was because I was using crappies from public waters for broodstock and he insisted I was breaking the law.  I wasn't, and had it in writing I was fine from the state hatchery manager and a biologist. He basically called me a liar and insisted he was told by the director of my fisheries division I was breaking the law. They banned him permanently and me temporarily but I never went back. The crazy thing I never responded in kind or rudely. I guess the mods got tired of the drama. Their loss. I generated a lot of interest on the website.  


my regular email is hounds@frontiernet.net if you could sometime shoot me a note. 


Here’s what I wonder about. Are you sure your eggs aren’t from triploids that still produced eggs but not viable eggs? Did you specify diploids when you got your original eggs? Or could Neal have made a mistake and giving you triploids instead of diploid eggs?  I could be wrong but I think at least some triploids can produce eggs but they aren't viable eggs. I will ask a couple of contacts that run state trout hatcheries if you don't mind. 


I had a trout farmer once tell me a friend didn’t have any luck with hatching trout eggs and found out he had been trying to hatch eggs from sterile fish. (I don’t know who the egg supplier it was and I no longer have contact with the trout farmer as he turned out to be a horse's ass) In that case he claimed he had never been told they were triploids. The thinking was the hatchery did this on purpose to prevent him from producing a line of trout broodfish from their eggs. 


I asked Neal in an email a while back if the my eggs were all diploids and he said they were. (He actually recommend diploids for my flow through pond that as he felt the diploids are hardier) I explained to him that my DNR contact could cut me off from importing eggs if he wanted to with no recourse from me, and I wanted to know if necessary if I could spawn the offspring from his eggs. Neal answered in the affirmative. 


If the above is not the case the only other things I can think of is temps are too high or two low, PH is too high or too low, oxygen levels need to be higher or there was a lapse in oxygen at some point, eggs are not mature, or you have some kind of pathogen in your water. It sure sounds like your broodfish were triploids though. 



#5 az9

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 24 March 2018 - 10:32 AM



What is your alkalinity, Ph, and hardness of your water? Have you had any tests for things like pesticides or herbicides in your water supply? Looks like you're not that far from Lake Ontario? How about Dioxin? Over here I know in Michigan the aquifers close to Lake Michigan are closely tied into Lake Michigan. 


Do you know if you may have supersaturation issues of nitrogen? Are you seeing bubbles on the eggs? 


Does EMS or Cayaga syndrome effect egg hatching success? (Thiamine deficiency)


Are you using good unexpired broodstock feed a few months prior to collecting your eggs?  (regarding vitamin efficacy.) 


Just trying to come up with possible explanations. 

#6 az9

  • NANFA Guest

Posted 24 March 2018 - 10:45 AM

Stupid question probably, but what are your light levels on the trout eggs? If you use any light at all what kind of light are you using?


I know a trout farmer that has no issues with light levels on the eggs but a lot of literature out there maintains the eggs should be kept in darkness or very low light. 


OTOH if the eggs you get from your supplier hatch under identical conditions then it must be something to do with your broodfish or something that occurs before eye up which is the stage at which you get your eggs from the supplier.  Either not taking eggs at the optimum time (to green or over mature) or their diet is lacking prior to spawning. I use astaxanthin in my trout diet to improve color but it's also supposed to improve egg health. 


I hope I'm not annoying you but I'm just brainstorming this.  

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