MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. — Authorities are investigating after they say someone tampered with a North Carolina hatchery over the weekend, killing more than 100,000 rainbow trout.
WLOS reported that it happened Saturday evening, the opening day of trout season, at the Armstrong Creek Hatchery in McDowell County.
Hatchery superintendent Mike Anderson says a coworker noticed fish in the raceways were in distress and quickly discovered the water flow was shut off. He found a valve controlling the Armstrong Creek Dam was fully cranked. That valved opened the dam, enabling all the water to flow downstream instead of into the hatchery.
Anderson says the 30 minutes without the creek inflow killed 150,000 rainbow trout, which is more than a third of the hatchery population.
The fish were earmarked for rivers in 12 counties in Western North Carolina. Anderson now says, other hatcheries will donate some of their trout to fill Armstrong Hatchery’s rivers, meaning fewer and smaller trout overall for this season.
Read full story: WLOS