How Do Fish Spawn?


A Wild Chase

Quite often a single female fish will be accompanied by several males. Usually it's in a wild and crazy, death-defying chase ritual in which the males rub up against the side of the female, scraping scales from their bodies in the process. Once she is ready, she picks a shallow place and begins laying her eggs. The males in attendance rush in, and around the area they release their spermatozoa into the water.

A Large Amount of Eggs

There will be excessive amounts of eggs released into the water. This is to ensure that at least some of them will hatch. Many won't be fertilized; others will be eaten by other fish or small egg eating predators. Some may even be eaten by the parent fish themselves, whether by accident or deliberately.

The Fry will Hide

After they hatch, the baby fish, called fry, receive their nourishment from the yolk that remains from the eggs for the first couple of days until this food is used up--at which time they are able to eat what the adult fish eat although in smaller portions. The fry, soon after hatching, will instinctively swim as quickly as they can for protection of some kind, such as rocks or seaweed, to keep from being eaten by adult fish.

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