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State to kill 150K infected baby trout

US - State officials have decided that about 150,000 baby trout hatched this year at Connetquot River State Park Preserve hatchery will be killed to stop the spread of a contagious virus. But the river will be stocked with adult fish below the hatchery for anglers.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation had determined in tests in November that the hatchery fish were contaminated with infectious pancreatic necrosis, which poses no known hazard to humans but can cause extensive mortality in young trout. State officials had said last month that killing all of the fish at the hatchery and in the river might be required.

But they said Monday that likely only brown, brook and rainbow trout hatched this year would need to be killed and replaced with eggs or baby fish from elsewhere to stop the virus. If introducing virus-free eggs does not eradicate the virus by 2009, all trout in the hatchery and river might need to be killed.

Parks regional director George Gorman Jr. said after meeting with the DEC, "we are going to be allowed to stock the lower half of the river within Connetquot River State Park Preserve with adult fish, and that will still be available to the public to use."

Park manager Gilbert Bergen said baby brook and brown trout would be buried in lime or incinerated. Charles Guthrie, DEC regional fisheries manager, said "the rainbow trout were produced from imported eggs shipped in from a supplier on the West Coast that has disease-free status, so we're permitting them to raise those fish."

Source: Newsday.com

the Fish Site Editor

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