Ministry of Natural Resources staff arrived on the shores of Loughborough Lake last week in a large truck containing about half a dozen stainless steel containers filled with water and 15,000 lake trout.
This is the fifth year the MNR has stocked the lake, which is incredibly popular with anglers.
The fish are about a year old, weighing only 30 grams each, but are important in maintaining a healthy fish population.
MNR staff were helped by members of the Battersea Loughborough Lake Association, who provided labour and boats to get the small fish to deep waters.
Association member Bob Fugler says the group wants to ensure the lake remains a great place to live and relax on.
“What people get out of this lake is the enjoyment of clean waters and the fish and the life around here,” Fugler said. “This just really fits in with what our interests are.”
Ministry staff and volunteers worked quickly, transporting the fish from the truck into coolers on boats and eventually into the waters of the lake.
Queen’s University biology students were also on hand for the operation.
Third-year student Catherine Ashcroft says moving the fish quickly is critical.
“You’re trying to reduce the amount of stress they experience from the hatchery all the way out to the lake, and the water has to stay cold so there’s not a lot of environmental difference,” Ashcroft explained.
There are two basic reasons to stock a lake: to help endangered species or to support a healthy population for sport fishing.
Loughborough Lake falls into the latter category, and sport fishing is one of the reasons Matt Mundell has volunteered his time to help release the fish.
“We enjoy the sport fishery out here. The trout fishing is great out of Loughborough Lake, and this helps to keep it that way,” Mundell said.
Over the five years that the MNR has been stocking Loughborough Lake, a total of 75,000 lake trout have been released.