It's winter, in the Park, the high altitude lakes are frozen and covered with a thick layer of snow. The aquatic ecosystems seem to be at rest… But the BIOAQUAE project does not stop! Right now, in the incubator in Valle di Ghiglieri (Vallone di Piantonetto) the hatching of the fish eggs produced within the framework of the marble trout preservation program is nearing completion. This is now the second season of reproduction for this endangered salmonid and the results obtained so far are very encouraging.
In late autumn, the eggs were squeezed out from a number of marble trout specimens and placed in the incubator to develop. A few days ago, the eggs began to hatch and the rearing tanks were soon populated with thousands of tiny fish.
For a few days after the hatching of the eggs, the baby fish are self-sufficient, in that they get their nourishment from their yolk-sacs, a bag shaped structure which is part of the embryo and gradually disappears as the fish grow (it can be clearly seen in the photo below). Once the yolk-sac has been absorbed, a very demanding and delicate stage begins, as the Park staff has to feed the juveniles and monitor their growth.
In a few weeks' time, measuring activities will also get underway to assess the survival and conditions of the juveniles and the young trout released into the torrents a year ago.
While waiting for the thaw, the activities of the BIOAQUAE project for the conservation of aquatic ecosystems go on!