Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources drops thousands of fish into mountain lakes from airplanes every single year, and while it might seem like a pointless endeavor at first glance, there’s a good reason for it.
As it would seem, Utah’s mountain ranges are popular hiking sites when the weather is right, and hikers frequently fish from the mountain’s lakes. Without these fish dumps, the lakes would quickly become fishless; that said, it’s a means of replenishing what hikers take out.
But why drop the fish by airplane? As it turns out, it’s just an incredibly efficient way of handling the aforementioned situation. One aircraft can hold hundreds or thousands of fish, and it will drop those fish at up to seven lakes in a single trip.
More than 95% of fish survive the fall from the airplane because the pilot doesn’t drop them at too high of an altitude; furthermore, the fish are small enough that air resistance helps them land softly in the water.