For several years the club was involved in a program to develop techniques for sterilizing fish. Members surgically sterilized hundreds of small rainbow trout in 1978, 1979, and 1980 and released them into eastern Washington lakes. Because of a high gonad regeneration in the trout, however, the program was discontinued. The club then cooperated with Dr. Gary Thorgaard, a WSU geneticist, to develop a method for heat-treating trout eggs. By immersing eggs in heated water, Thorgaard produced thousands of sterile trout, which were stocked in local lakes. Thorgaard’s experiments showed that fish could be sterilized economically. Now, numerous state and federal agencies, as well as operators of commercial hatcheries, are using variations of Thorgaard’s method.