How to collect single or loose eggs from salmon or trout.
Loose or single salmon or trout eggs can be collected from large female fish during the the spawning season. If possible bleed the fish prior to collecting the eggs. The best method is to cut one or two of the gill plates. Blood in the eggs can ruin the eggs in less than an hour if not stored properly.
Step 1: Catch a large female trout or salmon. Sometimes during the spawning season the female fish will leak eggs when picked up which makes identification easy. The abdomen of the female salmon or trout can be swelled with eggs, but once spawning actually starts and the fish deposits eggs the swelling will reduce..
Step 2: The vent or ovum tube, located immediately in front of the anal fin, on the female trout or salmon will be extended during spawning.
Step 3: The vent or ovum tube will often leak eggs without any pressure.
Step 4: Place the salmon or trout on a level surface. Then place your hand, a plastic jar or bag under the vent to collect the eggs.
Step 5: With your other hand apply gentle pressure to the abdominal cavity of the salmon or trout.
Step 6: Collect the eggs in your container.
Step 7: Repeatedly appply pressure to the abnominal cavity from the front of the fish toward the vent.
Step 8: We like to collect the eggs in plastic jars, originally used for peanut butter. Plastic jars do not break like glass. Please keep glass jars away from our spawning streams and rivers.
Step 9: Blood in the eggs can ruin the eggs in less than an hour if not stored properly. If there is excessive blood mixed with the eggs use river water to gently rinse the eggs. Drain all water. The eggs must then be kept cold.