'Whirling Disease' In
Trout - Fish Version Of Mad
Cow/Mad Deer Disease?
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 this year.
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 and cutthroats.
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," Hughes said.
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.

This Site Served by TheHostPros