Volunteer Opportunities – Trout Incubator Building (Currently recruiting for Round 1 of the 2020-2021 season)
For over a decade, the Kings River Fisheries Management Program has seasonally (November-April) incubated rainbow trout fry for release in the lower Kings River. In 2012, the program was able to move operations from cement boxes along the river’s edge to a small incubator building below Pine Flat Dam. The building is equipped with two 15′ long rearing tables that accommodate two raceways apiece. The program charges the building with 100,000 – 150,000 rainbow trout eggs, up to three times annually. Once the eggs hatch, the trout fry rear for approximately six weeks before release.
Annually trout are incubated, reared, and usually released in three rounds: Round 1 (November-December), Round 2 (January-February), and Round 3 (March-April). This year, due to the predicted unfavorable water temperatures for the trout eggs, we are rearing only two rounds of trout eggs this winter and spring.
Ongoing Volunteer Opportunity – January 1-February 7
Volunteers needed on weekends, holidays, and occasional weekdays whenever our staff is unable to attend to the trout incubator building. Most volunteers will spend one hour or less at the incubator at a time of their choosing. These volunteers will be required to go through a brief one-on-one orientation prior to volunteering, with a date determined based on the needs of the volunteer.
During trout rearing the program relies on volunteers to help:
- clean raceways
- monitor trout eggs and fry
- record water temperatures and flow
- feed trout fry
Generally, only one or two volunteers are required per day. Due to Covid-19 social distancing guidelines are in place which restrict occupancy of the incubator to only two people at any given time.
Single-Day Volunteer Opportunity – February 11
Once trout fry are ready for release (approximately 1″ – 1.5″ long) we rely on volunteers to help us stock them into the river between the Army Corps of Engineers Bridge and Avocado Lake Park. Fry release is scheduled for February 11, 2020 from 2:00-5:00 pm. Volunteers should be able to transport 2-3 five-gallon buckets of trout fry in unheated personal vehicles (trucks preferable) and should be able to carry a 20-pound bucket over uneven terrain.
Generally, up to ten volunteers are required on this day and volunteer orientation is not required. Due to Covid-19 volunteers are asked not to carpool with individuals from outside of their immediate households.
This is an excellent opportunity to take part in the trout lifecycle. Scheduling is flexible (especially for students) and the trout incubator sits adjacent to a scenic walking trail and Put & Take fishing access on the Kings River. No experience necessary.
At this time, while we do expect to utilize volunteers, the Covid-19 pandemic may impact the ability to provide orientations to new volunteers or may force us to cancel all volunteer participation should another stay-at-home order be issued. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, all volunteers who participate in any volunteer activities at the incubator will be required to sign and return a Release of Liability and the Covid-19 acknowledgement. Additionally, all staff and volunteers are required to adhere to social distancing rules and wear a mask and gloves while participating with all incubator activities to ensure the safety of all.
Contact Lori Werner (KRCD Environmental Resources Analyst) for scheduling and additional information.