Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

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Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Super on February 11th, 2014, 4:00 pm

The 2014 Freshwater Fishing Digest was delayed while Pequest Trout Hatchery worked to eradicate a disease (furnuculosis) that started last September. Anyone have the lowdown on what happened?
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Rusty Spinner on February 11th, 2014, 4:56 pm

The Division is treating the infected trout and still working on a full plan as time unfolds and they learn more about how well the disease is under control or where, if anywhere, the trout should be stocked. The new trout stocking meeting is in early March (1srt or 2nd) I believe, and will be held at Centenary College in Hackettstown. We'll know more soon.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby moose38 on February 11th, 2014, 8:59 pm

Rusty Spinner wrote:The Division is treating the infected trout and still working on a full plan as time unfolds and they learn more about how well the disease is under control or where, if anywhere, the trout should be stocked. The new trout stocking meeting is in early March (1srt or 2nd) I believe, and will be held at Centenary College in Hackettstown. We'll know more soon.


Are you saying there is a chance streams will not be stocked this year?
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Rusty Spinner on February 12th, 2014, 10:03 am

moose38 wrote:
Rusty Spinner wrote:The Division is treating the infected trout and still working on a full plan as time unfolds and they learn more about how well the disease is under control or where, if anywhere, the trout should be stocked. The new trout stocking meeting is in early March (1srt or 2nd) I believe, and will be held at Centenary College in Hackettstown. We'll know more soon.


Are you saying there is a chance streams will not be stocked this year?


In a very worst case scenario, yes. But let's not jump to conclusions. Our Division has prided itself on keeping disease out of the rearing cycle and they're on this in full force. But I'm certainly not a fish pathologist. One option might be non-trout waters and not trout production or maintenance waters as another last resort option. Hopefully they are able to more or less stock normally and a fair number of trout for angler interest and if not, it is another lesson learned why habitat needs far outweigh hatchery needs. If you have good habitat, you have good wild trout numbers and then you can manage the resource to remain sustainable but to not over harvest. When your priority focuses heavily on hatchery rearing, you can have setbacks just like poor spawning years for our wild trout.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Bubba Zinetti on February 12th, 2014, 10:57 am

I can imagine the uproar if some streams are not stocked. Rusty, thanks for your info on this. I agree with your assessment regarding habitat, however it is a bit of wishful thinking (not that there is anything wrong with that). Of course I and many others would like to see our trout streams managed differently, but with such a limited resource and so many anglers...
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby fly14 on February 12th, 2014, 12:44 pm

in the instance they did not stock nj this year-- it would be a good evaluation year to see where fish are holding over and would at least allow anglers to target all holdovers aside from some club stockies here and there.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Twism86 on February 12th, 2014, 2:14 pm

If the disease will only affect trout, stocking them in areas where no wild trout exist or holdovers exist may be an option. I would only be comfortable with that if they can prove the disease wont affect other species and that the watershed does not support trout. If there is a feeder stream that has trout but the main river doesnt that shouldnt be stocked. That leaves few, mostly in the south/central parts of the state and probably some ponds and lakes but is better than no stocking.

What about purchasing trout from another state or private hatchery?

IMO this isnt that big of a deal to me personally but it will hurt license sales and get some peoples panties in bunch. They need to do whats right first, then worry about getting the meat hunters their fish.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Rusty Spinner on February 13th, 2014, 12:02 pm

Division staff remain tight lipped until final decisions can be made about these fish and if they're safe or not to stock into certain or any water bodies.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby JeffK on February 13th, 2014, 12:19 pm

It has been reported that the trout meeting has been cancelled and the trout situation will be addressed at the Southern NJ fisheries meeting. They have been treating the hatchery with antibiotics which it is reasonable to assume have been effective. But we will see. The outbreak hit the lower raceways worst, which meant the breeders and two year browns and brooks. I hope the regular browns weren't hit too hard because they provide good late season sport.

The hatchery has regularly been taking three fish samples of the trout in the river to see if the bacteria has spread. I spoke to the technician given this task and he claimed that they haven't gotten positives yet. Lets keep our fingers crossed.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby MS22 on February 13th, 2014, 12:56 pm

If the state is, in a worst case scenario, debating whether or not to stock any trout this year, it leads one to wonder why they stocked any trout in the fall...? This issue was discovered prior to the fall stocking...was it not? How did the state conclude that stocking the fish in the fall was safe and what new issues have come to light that put the spring stocking in jeopardy? Did we make a mistake by stocking these fish in the fall? Obviously I am not privy to the information they have, but using common sense and logic it seems as though there is something weird about them stocking in the fall and then all of a sudden considering not stocking at al this spring.

Things like this happen, and I know the state is working to rectify the situation. I just hope that the state acts with an abundance of caution and doesn't put our fisheries in jeopardy just to avoid criticism. If there is a chance that this could infect local fish populations, I think the trout stocking should be cancelled. For those of you with a better knowledge of this particular disease, does it affect other fish species? or just trout?
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Johny L on February 13th, 2014, 1:22 pm

I would be very surprised, shocked actually, if f&w were knowingly holding infected trout at the hatchery. If I remember correctly the diseased fish were disposed of back in September, the use of antibiotics would be more off a preventive measure for the healthy trout, farms do this all the time. The problem with a hatchery is you have prime conditions for a pandemic, one diseased fish can infect them all. The bacteria is probably already in our streams, just that fish do not live in hatchery like conditions.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Rusty Spinner on February 13th, 2014, 3:33 pm

Not sure they discovered this before the fall stocking or we would have heard about it. Also, while they did immediately kill about 15,000 two year old fish, they did later discover this disease was in additional raceways and treating all of the fish with medicated feed was the long term solution. Much is known about this disease from what I gather, at least in hatchery situations.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby MS22 on February 13th, 2014, 11:01 pm

Rusty Spinner wrote:Not sure they discovered this before the fall stocking or we would have heard about it. Also, while they did immediately kill about 15,000 two year old fish, they did later discover this disease was in additional raceways and treating all of the fish with medicated feed was the long term solution.


The initial discovery was prior to fall stocking last year...no idea when they discovered that additional raceways were infected.

http://www.nj.com/warrenreporter/index. ... _euth.html

I have little knowledge of this disease and its impact on trout or any other fish specie. I just hope the state is smart enough not to introduce something that could potentially be detrimental to wild fish populations. With that being said, don't the raceways eventually dump into the pequest? as was mentioned earlier, the bacteria might already be naturally occurring, but Id think the pequest would be the first place to show adverse affects.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Rusty Spinner on February 14th, 2014, 9:50 am

MS22 wrote:
Rusty Spinner wrote:Not sure they discovered this before the fall stocking or we would have heard about it. Also, while they did immediately kill about 15,000 two year old fish, they did later discover this disease was in additional raceways and treating all of the fish with medicated feed was the long term solution.


The initial discovery was prior to fall stocking last year...no idea when they discovered that additional raceways were infected.

http://www.nj.com/warrenreporter/index. ... _euth.html

I have little knowledge of this disease and its impact on trout or any other fish specie. I just hope the state is smart enough not to introduce something that could potentially be detrimental to wild fish populations. With that being said, don't the raceways eventually dump into the pequest? as was mentioned earlier, the bacteria might already be naturally occurring, but Id think the pequest would be the first place to show adverse affects.


I believe they are randomly testing fish from the river itself to see if they've become infected or not. I believe I heard no positive tests yet on those fish which is good to hear. I haven't spoken to the fish pathologist about this, but at least they do have one again for the past few years. They went without one after a retirement and hiring freeze for several years and brought him back as a consultant as needed when they couldn't fill his position full time. But that has thankfully changed.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby moose38 on February 14th, 2014, 1:44 pm

I feel like we are going to have a bunch of sick bucket brigaders this year..
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Drossi on February 14th, 2014, 5:20 pm

If they run short of fish to stock at the hatchery due to calamities like this, I believe they can get fish to stock from the federal hatchery system. I'm pretty sure this has happened in the past when the state has run short of fish to stock.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Johny L on February 22nd, 2014, 1:35 pm

Well, some big changes are a coming. Everybody should read the proposed changes to the spring stocking.

http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/pdf/2014/trout_changes14.pdf
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby NJAngler on February 22nd, 2014, 2:27 pm

Umm so they are still stocking most the major rivers despite the fact they have hundreds of trout production tribs. WTF?

Take out the word 'modify' and put in the word 'suspended' as in suspend all stockings -period. I don't give at rats ass about lost revenue or John Doe meat angler not having trout to fish for. Go fish for sunfish. Gotta protect our wild fish.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby NJpatbee on February 22nd, 2014, 5:59 pm

What about the 4 miles of TP water in the Flatbrook? I am hoping I do not know the entire story.
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Re: Pequest Trout Hatchery - furnuculosis disease

Postby Johny L on February 22nd, 2014, 6:57 pm

There is more information here:

http://www.nj.gov/dep/workgroups/docs/troutmgtnotice20140221.pdf

There is a meeting on March 8 at Centenary College, which should be interesting to say the least. Also, there is a link to provide comments to f&w. It is interesting the upper south branch, above solitude, will not be stocked but other major trout streams will. F&w wants to be extra careful about the south branch but not the flat brook, musky, pequest, black - all that have trout production streams? Sounds like the disease did not hit the rainbows, so maybe those rivers get them?

Also, from what I have read, one of the ways to treat this disease is to remove all the trout from the hatchery and then sanitize the raceways. This *may* be more than just a one year problem.
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