Michigan hatchery gets state OK for expansion amid opposition
Despite opposition from environmental groups, a fish hatchery in Grayling, Michigan, has been granted permit for its planned fish hatchery expansion on the Au Sauble River, a local news outlet has reported.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has given the okay to the Harrietta Hills Grayling Trout Farm, to push through with its plan to increase its rainbow trout production from 70,000 lbs. to 300,000 lbs. per year, according to a report from The Monroe News.
The government agency said it has conducted a comprehensive review of the case before granting the modified permit, citing a state administrative law judge's ruling in favour of the hatchery farm. Several groups, including the Sierra Club and the Anglers of the Au Sable, had been opposing the fish hatchery's application for expansion.
The modified permit issued to Harrietta Hills Grayling Trout Farm provides additional protection, including subjecting the hatchery to regular testing for whirling disease, a fish illness caused by invasive parasite, according to the news report.
Opposition groups contest the expansion fearing the hatchery operation could cause contamination of the Au Sauble River, a popular trout stream in northern Michigan.
"This is a pretty clear indication that the DEQ has determined, through all the court decisions, all the studies ... that our operation at Grayling is sustainable and can be done in an appropriate way," Harrietta Hills owner Dan Vogler, told The Monroe News.
The Sierra Club said it is considering its legal options and weighing whether to challenge the DEQ ruling.
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