The Utah Wildlife Resources Division is making sure Arizona fishermen who prefer German brown trout have a chance to catch them next year.
The division has shipped about 100,000 German brown eggs to Arizona, where they will be hatched and released this fall as fingerlings or next spring as catchable trout, said spokesman Garth Carter.The Arizona Game and Fish Department doesn't produce fish eggs but obtains them from other states or from commercial hatcheries.
But the commercial hatchery in Massachusetts that supplied Arizona with German brown trout eggs has been closed because its brood stock suffered from a deadly kidney disease.
"So we're sending them disease-free trout eggs from our Egan Fish Hatchery," said Carter. "The 100,000 eggs won't make a dent in Egan's supply. We always end up with more eggs than we can raise. Egan produces about 16 million to 18 million trout each year."
Blain Hilton, Egan Hatchery superintendent, said the division always tries to guarantee that enough eggs will be collected to meet Utah's needs.
Because Utah's native species cannot sustain large enough fish populations, the state has developed several hatcheries to meet the needs of fishermen.
"We often end up with more production potential than hatchery capabilities," said Hilton. "That makes donations feasible without hindering Utah's resource."
The state cannot sell its fish eggs or give them away, but it can share excess eggs by trading them for other wildlife.
In the past, Carter said, Utah has received largemouth and smallmouth bass from Arizona; catfish from Oklahoma; bass, bluegill and catfish from Missouri; and striped bass from Virginia.
Joe Janisch of the Arizona Game and Fish Department said the Utah trout will be raised at the Tonto Fish Hatchery near Phoenix and then released in lakes and streams, primarily in the Tonto National Forest area.