by Sana Kavanagh, Research & Education Officer, MCG

(L-R) Clayton Coppaway, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group, and Laura Buck, Fort Folly Habitat Recovery Team, building Atlantic Salmon incubation trays (Salmon Egg Hotels) at the Mactaquac Biodiversity Centre in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Photo by Sana Kavanagh

This winter, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group (MCG) staff and the Fort Folly Habitat Recovery team buried over 10,000 Atlantic salmon eggs in an outdoor hatchery stream at the Mactaquac Biodiversity Centre. Why? This research will help us to learn about the best way to stock at-risk Atlantic salmon in streams near our MCG communities.

In the wild, the female Atlantic salmon uses her tail to dig a nest for her eggs in the stream bottom. But we placed the eggs in special plastic cases. These cases help people to plant eggs in streams where there are few or no salmon left. Each case holds 200 eggs in separate compartments. The compartments are like rooms in a hotel – and each egg has its own room! After the salmon eggs hatch, the baby salmon –now called “alevin” – will spend a short time in the rooms and feed on their yolk-sacks. Then the young salmon move out into the stream. They are now “fry”.

In late spring, we will dig up the salmon egg cases and count how many eggs survive to become fry. In the long term, we will compare the eggs that start their lives in the stream to those that start out inside the hatchery only to be moved into streams later in life.

This project is a partnership of the MCG, the Fort Folly Habitat Recovery Program and the Mactaquac Biodiversity Centre.

If you’d like to learn more about this or other research and education projects, email me at Thanks!

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