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Aquarium Helping Restore Rare Brook Trout

You can forget about the birds and the bees. At the Tennessee Aquarium, spawning swimmers is the name of the game.

In the fall, the Aquarium's research staff hiked to the Hampton Creek in Carter County, Tennessee to pick out the perfect Southern Appalachian brook trout.

Once back at the Aquarium's research facility on Amnicola Highway, it's time to make mating top priority.

"We squeeze the fish and get the eggs and get the milt and we mix those things together," said Kathlina Alford with the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute. "œWe put fertilized eggs in hatching jars and we raise babies. So in a lot of ways, people have to referred to them as test tube babies."

This project is the first successful breeding of this species of fish using chilled and de-chlorinated tap water instead of water from the stream where their population is dwindling.

But this work is trying to change that, by reintroducing and tracking these trout in the same stream this fall.

"œThe aquarium is not just about exhibits and fun but we really do have this research arm of the aquarium," Alford says. "œWe really are on the ground doing studies with endangered species and releasing them back into the wild."

For more information, click here to visit the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute's website.

By: Latricia ThomasAquarium Helping Restore Rare Brook Trout

Friday, January 17 2014, 06:46 PM EST

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