Hatchery Hopes To Be Free of Whirling Disease

(Rifle-AP) -- The state's largest fish hatchery is expected to be free from whirling disease by May.

The Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery, operated by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, will be able to produce more than one million catchable rainbow trout, and thousands of subcatchable trout, every year for Colorado streams once the disease has been eradicated.

Todd Malmsbury is a spokesman for the Division of Wildlife. He says changes at the hatchery include using only sub-surface water in its tanks. Water from nearby streams has whirling disease spores and just one spore can contaminate the entire facility.

On Friday, Mount Shavano hatchery in Salida was the seventh Colorado hatchery to be cleared of whirling disease.