In an act of malicious sabotage, around 150,000 rainbow trout were killed at a fish hatchery in western North Carolina over Easter weekend.
McDowell County, North Carolina suffered a huge loss over Easter weekend when it comes to wildlife populations. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has reported that the Armstrong Fish Hatchery lost approximately 150,000 rainbow trout.
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The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office is actively searching for suspects in the case after the hatchery’s superintendent, Michael Anderson, reported to the police that someone had tampered with equipment and turned a valve that stopped the flow of fresh water to the hatchery.
The fact that the water was diverted away from the hatchery is what caused the death of the 150,000 rainbow trout and David Deaton, a fish production supervisor with the Wildlife Resources Commission agreed that it was a criminal issue; “It’s pretty evident it was a malicious act.”
The Armstrong Fish Hatchery stocks fish for 12 counties in western North Carolina and Deaton says that the “…goal is not to impact our stocking,” and that the Wildlife Resources Commission will transfer fish from other hatcheries as a part of a plan to “mitigate these loses.”
On Sunday, the fish were cleared away from the ponds and buried nearby so that the hatchery can quickly move forward from this unfortunate event.
All images via Facebook.com/NCWildlifeResourcesCommission
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