Officials to decide future of fish in Vt hatchery

November 10, 2011 - 6:05 AM

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — State and federal officials in the Connecticut River basin and New York are trying to decide whether they will have to destroy almost 450,000 lake trout and salmon being raised in a Vermont fish hatchery that was contaminated by flooding from Tropical Storm Irene.

Flood waters known to be contaminated with the invasive algae known as didymo (DID'ee'moh) swept into portions of the White River National Fish Hatchery in Bethel, Vt., on Aug. 28.

Biologists have to decide whether the fish that were possibly exposed to the algae could be spread into lakes Ontario and Erie and the Connecticut River basin.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Ken Gillette says it will be up to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and The Connecticut River Salmon Commission, which includes officials from New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Thursday's meeting will be held in Massachusetts.