There is a fishy situation in Columbia County.
Members of a sportsman association near Benton said that someone released nearly 7,000 fish from the hatchery.
John Sibly is a volunteer at Fishing Creek Sportsman Association near Benton. The club raises fish and stocks them in creeks in Columbia County. When Sibly went to feed the trout on Wednesday, he noticed something fishy.
“When you go in this gate, the water was low and there weren’t any fish swimming around,” Sibly said.
According to state police, someone released around 7,000 trout into Fishing Creek early Wednesday morning. That’s about half of the fish the club had.
“Obviously I was pretty much traumatized when I realized they were gone. I came down I looked over the situation and it is what it is,” said Bill Johnson fish nursery manager.
Fishing Creek Sportsman Association is responsible for stocking eight different creeks. The loss of 7,000 fish is going to reduce the amount of fish the club is able to stock.
“The one that’s going to suffer is Fishing Creek. We always stock 1,000 every Monday and we might not have them,” Sibly said.
He added some of the fish that were released were going to be used in a children’s fishing derby next month, but said there are still enough fish to hold the event.
“The one saving grace is the fish are in Fishing Creek and they are not dead. They’re viable and in the water,” Johnson said.
The volunteers said there is no evidence of a break-in, but some of the screens that separated the fish were slashed.
Anyone with information about the fish release at the Fishing Creek Sportsman Association is asked to call state police.