Fish Breeding Station in SMA

The Fish Capture and Breeding Station in San Martín de los Andes is an example of first rate technical work in the conservation of salmonidae. NOT WORKING AT THE MOMENT.

The Fish Capture and Breeding Station is located at the end of the boardwalk where Pocahullo Creek flows into Lake Lacar. At present, it is not open to the public due to renovations but there used to be guided tours to witness the life cycle of salmonidae, especially rainbow and brown trout.

In May, during autumn, lake salmonidae swim upstream to spawn. These species were introduced over a century ago and quickly adapted. However, their reproduction levels have been recorded as low: a female spawns 5000 eggs from which only two fry are born.

Poaching has also had a negative influence in their reproductive processes as well as hindering fly-fishing, a tourist attraction in the area. Because of this, the Municipality and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) through the Neuquén Applied Technology Centre (CEAN) began the project for the construction of the Fish Capture and Breeding Station in 2004.

  • The best interests of the environment

    The best interests of the environment

  • The end of the boardwalk where Pocahullo

    The end of the boardwalk where Pocahullo

  • Imitates the habitat of the fish

    Imitates the habitat of the fish

  • The fish trap

    The fish trap

Japan, where there are three working fish traps, is a leader in the matter. However, there is scant experience in the rest of the world. Actually, the work was based on native American Indians who used traps to fish in the nineteenth century.

In San Martín de los Andes the station imitates the habitat of the fish (logs and stones), using natural resources efficiently.


Capture = Protection

Locally known as the fish trap, it consists of an 180-meter-long canal which gets its water from a detour in the stream that later rejoins its natural course.

At the mouth of the stream, there is an underwater net which makes the fish enter the canal. A big mill-like iron wheel with three baskets catches the fish without harming them and carries them automatically to the pools next to the canal.

Once in captivity they are classified according to sex, maturity and species and chosen to spawn. Specialized personnel are in charge of artificial reproduction achieving a rise of up to 70% and an increase in fish for breeding. The rest are set free to increase the salmonidae population of different lakes in the area.

Artificial reproduction is not the only task of the specialized personnel. They are also in charge of medical care, the study of scales and creating awareness about the proper care of natural resources during their guided tours.

Autor Mónica Pons Fotografo Eduardo Epifanio

DifficultyDifficulty: Low

DurationDuration: 1 hour

Bear in mindBear in mind: At present, the Fish Capture and Breeding Station is closed due to maintenance and infrastructure works. Nevertheless, it is still a local attraction and its facilities are frequently visited as they have their own mystique.

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Activities and tours in San Martín de los Andes

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