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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

May 4, 2005

Contacts:  Bill Krise, 406-994-9902
                   Barb Perkins, 303-236-4588
 

2005 Bozeman Kids Fishing Derby Cancelled

 The annual Kids Fishing Derby sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Bozeman Fish Technology Center, scheduled for Saturday, June 4, 2005, has been cancelled this year due to caution regarding findings from an agency-wide survey for PCBs in fish.  The Derby was also cancelled in 2004 after the contamination was first discovered.

 “Although we understand that many people will be disappointed by the derby cancellation, public safety is our primary concern,” said Bill Krise, Director of the Bozeman Fish Technology Center.  “PCB testing continues as we search for sources of the contamination in the fish.  Because we are following national guidelines to prevent any potential risks to human health, the trout raised at the Bozeman Fish Technology Center will not be available to the public until the fish are considered safe for consumption.”

 A fishing day event is still available in Bozeman.  The Bozeman Breakfast Optimist Club will hold their Fishing Derby on June 4, 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. at the Bozeman Pond for children 13 years and younger. 

The Kids Fishing Derby at the Center has been held annually on the first Saturday in June for 13 years.  The Derby provides free fishing to children 6 years and under and is an excellent experience and learning opportunity for children in the Bozeman area to become acquainted with fisheries resources and the recreational and food value of fish. Historically, the event has been very well attended with over 800 children participating in 2003.  

In response to an escalating concern about PCB levels in hatchery and farm-raised salmonids, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gathered trout samples from a number of its facilities within three regions of the country in March 2004.  Sampling continued this year.  However, scientists have been unable to pinpoint the sources of contamination in the fish.  

Sampling and testing continue at the Center to determine possible causes of contamination.  To date, test results confirm contamination in fish from both the pond (used for the Kids Fishing Derby) and the raceways, but results indicate contamination may come from sources other than fish feed.  The Center has tested all caulking materials found in the raceway system; results of these tests are pending.  The Center also surveyed the entire water system and sources at the facility for possible sources of contaminants, and plans to sample concrete in the raceways for possible infiltration of PCBs into the cement. 

Because the Center is a research facility, no other fish raised on site are distributed for human food.  However, the Center has other important fishery resources on station, including some endangered and sensitive species such as pallid sturgeon and arctic grayling.  The potential impacts of elevated PCB levels could be a concern for their healthy development.  The Center will continue working with state and federal partners to alleviate any risks to these species. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies. 

 - FWS -

 For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
 visit our home page at http://www.fws.gov 

Visit the Mountain Prairie website at: http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov

 


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