In 2008, an early Lean initiative at the Connecticut DEEP agency had looked at improved distribution of trout and salmon raised at the state hatcheries, and made improvements to truck and tank technology to reduce noise, fuel and worker fatigue.
Raising fish takes about 1-2 years, and each hatchery uses a lot of water and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A new team was created to look at production efficiencies to see if less water, energy and staff time could be used while maintaining fish stock levels and the quality of fish.
They were also looking to minimize the loss of fish due to birds and other mammals, sometimes up to 50% loss.
The team got together across sites to map out the process, and brainstorm ideas. Concrete barrier ponds and netting were added to outdoor hatcheries to prevent blue herons from taking the fish. They also identified value for residents in creating opportunities for bird watching.
You can watch the 4-minute video called “DEEP Lures in the Fisheries” at https://www.gembaacademy.com/guests/state-of-connecticut