Tuesday, December 5, 2000
Routt County The Routt County Commissioners will write a letter to the director of the Colorado Division of Wildlife, Russell George, to ask if fish from Finger Rock hatchery, near Yampa, could be stocked only in northwest Colorado waters.
Yampa business owner and member of the Upper Yampa Valley Economic Development Council Ken Montgomery asked the commissioners to write the letter.
He said stocking the disease-free fish from the local DOW hatchery would benefit businesses that profit from the anglers.
Finger Rock recently became one of seven hatcheries to test negative for whirling disease after a $13 million state project to rid eight hatcheries of the parasite.
Whirling disease is a parasitic infection that became prevalent in Colorado trout in the '80s. Fish heavily infested with the parasite can become deformed or exhibit the erratic tail-chasing behavior from which the disease gets its name. Eventually, infected young fish may die.
The DOW prohibited stocking fish infected with whirling disease in most waters in northwest Colorado. Because of that, many lakes and streams haven't had regular stocking in the past few years, Montgomery said. Now that a local DOW hatchery is testing negative for the disease, he would like to see the local waters benefit from it.
The County Commission agreed with Montgomery's position.
"It's important that Ken's message is heard," Commissioner Dan Ellison said. "Fishing is important to the economy out here and (the DOW) sometimes fails to remember that."
Commissioner Ben Beall said it would be wise to get the letter written and the request made as soon as possible.
"Since it's a statewide problem, and only a few hatcheries have disease-free fish, people are going to want (those fish)," Beall said.
Finger Rock is expected to produce about 280,000 WD-negative, 10-inch catchable-size rainbow trout for stocking in 2001.
In other action made by the Routt County Board of Commissioners:
n Tom Hopp and Mike Holloran were reappointed as trustees to the East Routt Library District.
n The commission approved hiring Alice Barratt as a deputy treasurer for Routt County at one step above the entry-level salary, $12.06 an hour.
n The commission approved an agreement between the Civil Air Patrol Inc. and the Routt County Sheriff's Department to cooperate on police projects.
n The commission directed Extension Agent C.J. Mucklow to advertise for employees to fill a weed supervisor position for the Colorado State Extension Office and an administrative assistant job for the Rout County Fair Board.