You open your baggie of salmon chow to discover… it’s nearly empty! Can you get more?? These fish are HUNGRY!!!
As a general rule of thumb, we typically don’t resupply food. There are a few reasons for this:
Getting additional food can be tricky: SITC salmon food is donated from WDFW, and it can be tricky to get extra. The Vancouver Hatchery trout are often at a different stage than our baby coho. I’ve run into issues where I need baby food (0-1mm size) and the Vancouver Hatchery trout are eating 3-4mm food (giant!). I have to make a ~2hr trip to another hatchery to get the right size food if that happens!
We want to avoid overfeeding: We try to give teachers plenty of food when they receive their fish. If a school’s salmon food supply runs out, it’s possible the fish are being over-fed. Since over-feeding is one of the main causes of salmon health issues in our schools, it’s not something we want to encourage!
We want to encourage early reporting: The timeframe for when schools can have fingerlings in their tanks is a little bit flexible. We can bring fingerlings in early Sept or as late as Nov in some cases. A couple teachers have requested to keep fingerlings over the Christmas break (if their own children enjoy helping to feed the fish, for example). This is ok on the condition that the fish will be fed daily, the fish are released by Dec 31st, and the release info is reported by Dec 31st. We have to send that info to Olympia before schools can receive their January eggs.
If there’s a special circumstance (school had an early delivery, large number of fish, or students accidentally over-fed), I can usually bring extra food or the teacher can arrange to pick some up at the hatchery. This happens ~5 times per year. If we have extra food and can help out, it’s no problem at all! If we don’t have the right size food for you and can’t easily get more, go ahead and release your fish!