DNR Now Using Helicopters to Stock Trout in Remote Lakes
Anglers will have the opportunity to catch trout on remote lakes in northeastern Minnesota following helicopter-based fish stocking efforts this fall.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources typically uses trucks to stock fish, but traditional methods can’t be used in some of the state’s difficult-to-reach lakes. In those waters, airplanes have been used for years to provide aerial stocking.
But recently, pilots in the DNR Enforcement Division’s aviation unit created and constructed a helicopter-based system that makes stocking more effective and efficient. Since the helicopters can hover 5 feet above the water and drop fish into the water, the survival rate of stocked fish is about 100%. When they’re stocked from an airplane, which drops fish from 100 feet above the surface while traveling at 100 miles per hour, the survival rate is about 85%.
Also, the possibility of spreading aquatic invasive species is mitigated because helicopters don’t land on the water.