White River National Fishery Reopens With New Mission

Bethel, Vt. - After six years The White River National Fish Hatchery is back open.

When tropical storm Irene hit in 2011, the hatchery was forced to closed when surrounding rivers flooded over.

At the time the hatchery realized their current mission, which was stocking the Connecticut River with salmon and lake trout production for Lake Eerie, was not working.

On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife along with the White River National Fish Hatchery held a reopening ceremony. It was also when they unveiled their new mission to land lock salmon for Lake Champlain and Lake Trout for the lower Great Lakes.

Hatchery Manager Henry Bouchard said the new mission will help other state and federal facilities be more flexible.

"We can pick up the slack of producing the eggs and they can focus on other areas," Bouchard said. "So it's kind of spreading out the work."

In addition to environmental benefits, Bouchard said the land lock program will have great economic impact in the Champlain Basin. This is due to the White River National Fish Hatchery supporting the recreational fishery there.

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