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IRENE IMPACTS MORGAN HATCHERY

March 20, 2013

Long time dedicated volunteer Pet Engels shows off a timed feeding system, utilizing small belts that drop small amounts of fish food into the tanks. The belts are refilled every 12 hours so the supply of food is sufficient to feed 92,000 hungry fingerlings. Photo: Ed Barber

MORGAN – The annual release of brook trout fingerlings will have to wait a few extra weeks as the fry this year are smaller than normal. Hurricane Irene, which tore through the state in August 2011, damaged several of the Fish and Wildlife Department's fish hatcheries. Consequently, the Morgan hatchery received only 45,000 eggs from a hatchery in Virginia last year, but this year were given 92,000 eggs by Fish and Wildlife.
According to Pete Engels, the trout used by the state were young and small, which resulted in smaller eggs. “They should be an inch and a half, two inches by now,” Engels stated. “But they're about an inch long, so instead of transporting them to beaver ponds the last weekend in March, we're going to wait until April 20th.”

For more of this story, see Thursday's edition of The Newport Daily Express for March 21, 2013.

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