- Whirling Disease In Trout
- By Marla B. Vader - The Daily Sentinel
- The Colorado Division of Wildlife has resurrected a plan
to raise trout free of whirling disease at its Rifle Falls Hatchery. Construction
begins today on the $2 million to $3 million project; a smaller version
of a controversial proposal essentially rejected by the city of Rifle earlier
- Under the original plan, the DOW would have taken water
from Rifle Creek at the Narrows, a section of city-owned Rifle Mountain
Park. The new plan has the DOW taking water from an easement it holds downstream
of the Narrows.
- DOW officials estimate the new plan will annually produce
up to 500,000 catchable-sized rainbow trout and 2 million fingerling rainbows
- The job is scheduled to be completed in several phases
by spring of 2003, said Eric Hughes, the DOW's chief of hatcheries. Other
improvements include refurbishing the fish raceways.
- After the project is completed, the Rifle Falls Hatchery
should employ six full-time people, Hughes estimated. "The good news
is we want to keep a hatchery at Rifle and we need negative fish,"
- Division officials claim spring water does not contain
the spores that lead to whirling disease.
- While it doesn't affect people, whirling disease causes
trout to swim in circles and can be fatal to fish. The disease has devastated
trout populations in the state, negatively affecting the state's fishing
economy, DOW officials say.
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