Spearfish hatchery researches how to eliminate unwanted fish in Idaho

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 4:57 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) -Idaho Fish and Game researchers are working with a South Dakota fish hatchery to reduce certain fish populations.

The D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery run by Director Carlos Martinez in Spearfish is researching a new way to eliminate unwanted fish in Idaho.

“There are some bodies of water in Idaho where Brown Trout are posing a problem to native fish species and the state of Idaho would like to replace those species with more desirable game fish or native fish species,” says Martinez.

The way it’s done is by developing a fish population whose offspring are all males. The new male fish will have two Y chromosomes instead of the regular XY arrangement.

“As a result, their progeny are only male. An all-male population cannot reproduce and so ultimately the population dies out and so by utilizing YY methodology we can, in a more economic and efficient, way eliminate undesirable populations,” says Martinez.

If successful, researchers will be able to restock Idaho's waterways with more desirable fish.

The fish in the raceway at the hatchery are YY Brown Trout that are hoping to aid Idaho to fight off particular undesirable fish populations that not only hinder the habitats but also the state’s economy.

“Many invasive species out-compete game fish species. The species that people pay money for in fishing licenses, boost the economy. Ultimately resulting in billions of dollars of lost revenue, billions of dollars of damaged habitat,” said Martinez.

The fish at the South Dakota hatchery will not be released into the wild but will be studied to not only help Idaho, but South Dakota.

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