Thousands of diseased fish set to be euthanized

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Ray Flores loves fishing at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque. 

“Oh, its great man you get a lot of friendly people here you can talk and enjoy the fishing,” said Flores.

He said last week he caught a 20-inch trout there.

“And then they stock it all the time, they stock it like maybe once a week, so there is a lot of trout in there,” he said. 

Soon though, he and other anglers may not be getting those big catches as often anymore.

The New Mexico Game and Fish Department just announced Whirling Disease was found in small levels at the Rock Lake State Fish Hatchery in Santa Rosa.

“It’s kind of sad because I like to go out to the rivers too, and they say it’s going to hurt some of the stocking like Red River and stuff like that,” said Flores.

New Mexico Game and Fish said because of the outbreak it plans to euthanize about 70,000 trout to help stop the spread of the disease, meaning places like Tingley may have fewer trout for anglers.

The rock Lake Hatchery is the main station for trout in the state, producing about 300,000 trout a year for stocking.

Dale Jojola caught a big trout Sunday but said Monday he didn’t have as much luck.

“Ah well today’s kind of slow, but it’s been good all week so hopefully later on they’ll be biting, and it’ll be all good,” he said.

 He and Flores said they’ll keep fishing despite the coming trout shortage.

“That’s kind of sad because it is what it is but at least we’re having fun you know what I mean,” he said.

 Game and Fish said Whirling Disease is not known to infect humans, and it’s unclear when the euthanization of the trout will start.