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Thousands of fish dead at Fish Springs

January 9, 2012

Department of Fish and Game crews attempt to dispose of about 40,000 dead fish at Fish Springs after an accident Wednesday. Photo by Mike Bodine

A pump malfunction at Fish Springs Hatchery between Big Pine and Independence is being blamed for the death of approximately 40,000 trout.
According to Department of Fish and Game Public Information Officer Andrew Hughan, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had shut off a pump that supplies the hatchery with water Wednesday morning. For some reason, the back-up pump for the facility was unable to supply enough water to one of the large holding ponds to keep the water circulating, which resulted in the death of the fish.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Public Information Officer Chris Plakos said crews were conducting routine maintenance on the main pump Wednesday and were unaware of anything going amiss at the hatchery until DFG employees asked them to stop work and turn the main pump back on, which they were able to do immediately.
“Forty thousand fish sounds like a tremendous amount, but its not going to affect our goals and quotas,” Hughan said.
Hughan said the fish that were killed included both mature stockers and fingerlings.
“The Hatchery got it all cleaned up and they’ve got to make adjustments, but they said they’ll be able to recover, and this won’t affect stocking” in the coming years,” Hughan said.

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