Fish Go Skydiving In Utah Aerial Fish Stocking (Video)

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…fish?

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If you’ve ever wondered how remote mountain lakes are stocked with fish, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) has the answer: by plane. “It’s that time of year!” they announce. “If you see flying fish at Utah’s remote waters, don’t be alarmed.” So next time you’re on the water, look upward and maybe you can make the ultimate catch—of a fish falling out of a plane.

Aerial Fish Stocking is Nothing New

The Utah DWR aerially stocks high elevation lakes each summer, a practice they have carried on successfully since the 1950s. But how do the fish survive their dramatic plunge? “Because the fish are small and released along with water, they easily survive their aerial drop without injury,” the DWR explains.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conducts aerial fish stocking at a remote lake
Fish go flying as the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conducts an aerial fish stocking operation. | Feature image: Courtesy of Utah DWR/YouTube

Stocking remote lakes wasn’t always so easy—for the humans or the fish. The DWR “used to load fish into milk cans and we needed horses to get us into these remote areas. The aerial method of stocking is much quicker and less stressful for the fish.” It’s also much more entertaining to watch a bunch of fish go skydiving.

A True “Fish Out Of Water” Moment

The biggest difference these days compared to prior stocking runs is the high quality video footage the DWR shares with the public. This peek behind the curtain is a great reminder for anglers and others of the effort that goes into maintaining our natural resources.

For more information on fish stocking in Utah, view the DWR’s 2021 Fish Stocking Report. And check out the Utah DWR’s YouTube channel for tons of other interesting videos on wildlife topics both serious (World Fish Migration Day) and silly (Oops, Bull Elk Trips).


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