Virus infects trout at hatchery

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
9 February 2007, at 12:00am

NEW YORK - A virus has been found in trout at the Connetquot River State Park Preserve hatchery, and officials are weighing options for combating it, including killing more than 25,000 fish.

The disease, infectious pancreatic necrosis, poses no known hazard to humans who handle or consume the fish. But it can cause extensive mortality in young trout, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The agency said the virus was found in brook, brown and rainbow trout in November when they were sent to a DEC lab upstate as part of an inspection program conducted at state-owned and private hatcheries that raise fish to be released into state waters.

The virus, which has spread in recent years as more salmon and other fish species are grown in hatcheries and on farms, can be transmitted from infected to uninfected fish and from parents to their offspring. There is no cure and DEC regulations prohibit stocking diseased fish in any state waters.

Asked whether the trout will be killed, DEC spokeswoman Maureen Wren said "that definitely has not been decided yet." She said her agency and the state parks department will be meeting to discuss other options in a few weeks.