N.J. to euthanize 114K brook trout due to disease

     In this April 2008 photo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a brook trout is seen. The Vermont Senate is expected soon to take up a House-passed bill designating two fish species as the state fish of Vermont. The bill, which won final House approval on Friday, would make the brook trout the state's cold-water fish and the walleye pike Vermont's warm-water fish. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Eric Engbretson )

    In this April 2008 photo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a brook trout is seen. The Vermont Senate is expected soon to take up a House-passed bill designating two fish species as the state fish of Vermont. The bill, which won final House approval on Friday, would make the brook trout the state's cold-water fish and the walleye pike Vermont's warm-water fish. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Eric Engbretson )

    Officials will euthanize 114,000 brook trout at New Jersey’s Pequest Trout Hatchery in Warren County due to a recurrence of a fish disease.

    The Environmental Protection Department says tests confirmed the presence of furunculosis in brook trout in the upper portion of the concrete raceway system used to raise trout for stocking the state’s waterways.

    The DEP says the hatchery, which raises more than 600,000 trout annually, had its first outbreak last fall and 25,000 fish were euthanized by introducing carbon dioxide in the water. Officials believe the bacteria were spread by birds feeding on infected fish.

    The disease is not a threat to humans.

    The state says it will release healthy fish into lakes, rivers and streams in time for opening day of trout season on April 5.

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