U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service



April 11, 1997

Diane Katzenberger 303-236-7905 ext 408
Adam Mendoza 970-872-3170
Sharon Rose 303-236-7917 ext 415

Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery Will Supply Disease-free Trout for Western Colorado Streams

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery in western Colorado will supply the Colorado Division of Wildlife with disease-free rainbow trout for stocking in several Colorado streams. After this year's routine testing performed in March by the Service's Bozeman Fish Health Lab, the hatchery has been declared disease free, including free of the whirling disease parasite believed responsible for the decimation of trout populations in some of America's most renowned trout streams including Colorado's South Platte, Gunnison, and Colorado rivers.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife's ability to stock fish that are whirling disease-free has been greatly curtailed due to lack of whirling disease-free hatchery facilities. The Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery plans to raise and deliver approximately 1.2 million 4-to 5-inch fish for distribution throughout Western Colorado. The Division has agreed to pay Hotchkiss NFH $80,400 to defer the cost of supplying the rainbow trout. This will enable the Division to stock disease free trout in uninfected waters and protect native trout populations.

Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery is located on the banks of the North Fork of the Gunnison River near the town of Hotchkiss, Colorado. The hatchery was built in 1969 to supply trout to Colorado River Storage Project Reservoirs as mitigation for trout losses caused by the construction of reservoirs. The hatchery produces two million fish annually and is one of two Federal fish hatcheries in Colorado.

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