Fish have to learn how to swim?
Many don’t this, but a fish isn’t born knowing how to swim.
They have to learn, just like a little bird has to learn how to fly.
After a trout or salmon hatches from its egg, it just lays there on the bottom hiding with its brothers and sisters.
It still has a yolk sack attached to its belly that gives it nutrients for about three weeks.
During that time, it practices wagging its tail back and forth to propel along the bottom. As soon as this starts, we move them into long troughs with lots of room to practice.
As they get better at swimming, they start lifting themselves off the bottom a few inches at a time, and then falling back down. Over and over and over again.
Until finally, they make it all the way to the surface. They take a big gulp of air to inflate their swim bladders, and then they swim for the rest of their lives!
Watching swim-ups is by far one of our favourite things about raising fish on the farm!