There's a new book called An Entirely Synthetic Fish about the introduction of Rainbow Trout into our waterways, that documents some of the ways that these fish were introduced by very novel means.
It turns out that in the 1950s apparently they decided that dropping trout from the sky into California lakes was a good idea.
"In one of the more surreal sections of the book, Halverson describes the origins of aerial fish-stocking missions, as surplus World War II planes and demobilised pilots were successfully redeployed in the 1950s to introduce the rainbow trout to previously fishless lakes, high in the California mountains. Even as you anticipate the disastrous ecological consequences, it’s hard not to be amazed by the gung-ho ingenuity of former crop duster and California Department of Fish and Game pilot Al Reese:
First, Reese tried freezing the fish in ice blocks and parachuting them in ice cream containers. Both of these techniques, though, proved dangerous and difficult. And so, one day, Reese and his assistants tried a simpler technique. They put fifty trout and some water into a five-gallon can and threw it out the window toward a hatchery pond about 350 feet below. They missed, and the can bounced along the rocks nearby instead. But when observers recovered the twisted metal debris, they found sixteen fish still swimming in the small amount of water that remained.
Ultimately, Reese and the team ditched the barrels altogether in favour of releasing fish that would hit the water “with a vertical speed of about thirty miles per hour,” in a scene described by observers as “a cloud of mist that suddenly appeared behind the plane, full of the barely distinguishable dark shapes of small fish.”
Read the rest here: The Amazing Allegorical Synthetic Fish