A state fish-poisoning program at Hyrum Reservoir and the Little Bear River has drawn protests from anglers that tax money is being used to clean up a problem caused by a private industry.
Jim Lake, member and past president of the Cache Anglers, said his group believes the project is a misuse of tax dollars and license fees.But Tom Pettingill, Northern Regional Fisheries Manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said the waters are being treated with the chemical Rotenone in an effort to get rid of viruses accidentally introduced into the waters several years ago.
Meanwhile, Grant White, co-owner and manager of White's Trout Farm in Paradise, said the farm has been unjustly blamed for the whole problem.
White said the so-called IPN virus had to come from another source and "therefore the stream and reservoir would need to be treated anyway."
White said he has a document sent by what was then the Utah Division of Fish and Game in 1968 stating that the IPN virus had been found in several Utah fisheries.
White said other than the cost of 30 gallons of Rotenone and the labor to distribute it, his farm has paid all the bills - about $1.5 million - for the treatment at the farm.
Pettingill said following the treatment project, the river will be restocked with trout and the reservoir with trout, bass, bluegill and yellow perch.