A Utah Division of Wildlife Resources video of tiny trout skydiving into a lake is getting attention online and eliciting concern for the fish.
The DWR posted the video along with this “Fun fact: We stock many of Utah's high-mountain lakes from the air. The fish are tiny — anywhere from 1–3 inches long — which allows more than 95 percent of them to survive the fall.”
The video, shot from a camera mounted on the bottom of the plane, shows water and the little fish streaming out of the aircraft into the clear blue lake below. According to DWR, it was one of 70 lakes stocked that day in the Loa/Boulder Mountain area. It’s believed to be Raft Lake in the video, which is catching the attention of a number of commenters.
“Taking ‘Fly Fishing’ to a whole new level,” wrote one.
“Mesmerizing,” wrote another. “Also, if I share my address with you could you fly over my house?”
“Weeeeeeeeeree – splat!” wrote another.
Concern was expressed for the fish — specifically the 5 percent that, according to the DWR, may not survive. Several people questioned why it was done this way.
“Transporting the fish by ground takes a lot longer and, it's much more stressful on the fish,” the DWR replied. “The survival rate is much higher from the air — usually between 95–99 percent.”
And, in response to a question about how the fish survive the fall: “Because of their small size (reduced mass), the process of dropping doesn’t hurt the fish. Think of it as a high diver diving into a deep pool of water.”
And thousands of tiny parachutes would, no doubt, be cost prohibitive.