MORGAN HATCHERY: 22 AND STRONGER THAN EVER
MORGAN – In 1991, the directors of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Conservation Group successfully negotiated with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to rebuild the Morgan Fish Hatchery, which had been abandoned. After volunteers rebuilt the hatchery, the first brook trout fingerlings were transported to beaver ponds through local Boy and Girl Scout troops in April 1993.Over the past 20 years, an average of 120,000 fingerlings have been distributed to waters in the Northeast Kingdom with the help of dozens of volunteers. Damage to Vermont's fish hatchery infrastructure as a result of Tropical Storm Irene in the fall of 2011 led to a sharp drop in the number of fish eggs provided to the Morgan hatchery last year. This year, the department was able to provide 92,000 eggs, which hatched with very little loss through the early weeks, according to Peter Engels. Board member Conrad Fortin agreed. “We had a 90% survival rate; it was really good.”The Conservation Group reached an agreement to stock fingerlings into beaver ponds in District 5; those ponds are open to the public and suitable for stocking. Stocking private ponds is not allowed. For more of this story, see Tuesday's edition of The Newport Daily Express for April 23, 2013.