We had the pleasure of speaking to Green Local Radio through Utica College this last Sunday. We talked about issues on the West Canada Creek, and what Trout Power is about. Tune in to hear the latest on what is going on in the constant URGE for water.
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The Rome State Fish Hatchery is dealing with a serious situation. A portion of the fish at the hatchery have been suffering from a severe outbreak of a bacterial disease.
Since June, a large number of
brown trout and brook trout at the Rome Hatchery have been suffering
from a rare bacterial fish disease called furunculosis. I spoke with
Rome Hatchery employees and DEC officials and they say in order to
eliminate the disease and prevent it from spreading further, they had
only one option: destroy the thousands of infected fish.
time we had it here in Rome was in 1996 so furunculosis has been
virtually nonexistent," says Andy Noyes, Rome State Fish Hatchery
"we didn't seem to be getting the fish healthy and
we were afraid the disease could spread," says Bob Lewthwaite, Rome
State Fish Hatchery manager.
In an effort to eliminate the
disease from the hatchery, over 130,000 brown trout and brook trout were
destroyed. But employees say it was a short term sacrifice for a long
"If we had stocked sick fish, it could spread to
the wild and we're not gonna do that. We have strict fish health laws
and we have to abide by them," says Lewthwaite.
In late June,
furunculosis was first detected at the Rome Hatchery, but Noyes says
they still don't know how the fish became infected.
different ways things can pass around fish populations, everything from
birds to water to other fish, there's a lot of different avenues so pin
pointing the transmission of this is unknown," says Noyes.
won't just hurt the hatchery. Michael Papp is the owner of the West
Canada Creek Campsites and he says this will affect his business
stock literally thousands and thousands of brown trout into this river
and if Rome doesn't have the ability to do that, they'll have to import
fish from other states to stock the rivers. And if they're unable to
stock the levels like they normally do, obviously the levels will be off
next year and that will make it for a bad fishing season," says Michael
Papp, West Canada Creek Campsites owner.
The fish were humanely
destroyed using carbon dioxide last week. Hatchery employees agree that
it was a tough decision but producing healthy fish is their first
"The goal of what we do is to provide enormous fishing
opportunities for everybody and providing healthy fish for this is
really, really important," says Noyes.
"Statewide we're stocking over 2.4 million fish so yeah this hurts, but we'll bounce back."
Rome hatchery employees say there are still 400 thousand healthy fish left on the property," says Lewthwaite.
outbreak will reduce the numbers of fish they stock this Spring, but
they have drafted a mitigation plan. They have over 2 million fish eggs
coming in this Fall so although it's a set-back, employees agree it's
for the best.