Fall Fin Clipping

A mighty group of IEFFC warriors headed to the hatchery on September 27th and 28th to perform adipose fin-ectomies on thousands of tiny fish. This is one of our most difficult projects and the extreme weather didn’t make it any easier. The rain on Monday was an absolute downpour, but our members stayed the course and upwards of 50,000 little trout had their fins clipped.

For those of you not familiar with the process, it starts with the fish being anesthetized. While they are briefly immobile a group of amateur surgeons carefully take the fish in their hands and trim off the adipose fin with micro scissors. Speed is essential because the fish gain mobility quickly and a squirming two inch fish is likely to lose more than an adipose fin. It takes courage to perform this function knowing that their lives are literally in your hands.

The members volunteering were Jerry McBride, Skip Cavanaugh, Bill Papesh, Guy Gregory, Jim Athearn, Phil Beck, Floyd Holmes, and Mark Pinch.

Thank you all for your efforts.

Bayley Lake Spawning Channel

Our annual trip to repair the Bayley Lake spawning channel was another success story. We were unable to clear the channel last year due to Covid concerns so the need this year was extreme.

An able crew of ten members was assembled on September 25th and the transformation was spectacular. The group included five veterans and five new recruits and everyone worked well together. The channel is clear and covered in gravel, which should provide excellent spawning beds for the trout. The members volunteering were Jerry McBride, Bob Schmitt, Jim Athearn, Bob Johnson, Jake Nelson, Bill Papesh, Scott Fink, Phil Beck, Chet Allison and Lee Funkhouser.

Breakfast was provided by the IEFFC at the Maverick’s Restaurant in Colville and Bob Schmitt brought an excellent lunch for everyone.

Following the completion of the project the group headed over to the lake for some fishing. Unfortunately the fish were not informed that we were working on their behalf and they were very tough to catch. A few made it to member nets and they were mostly big, healthy fish. Hopefully next season they will be more cooperative.