Salem, Ore.—On the heels of the Federal Drug Administration’s recent announcement that farm fish showed no contamination from recalled fish feed, state hatchery managers are moving forward with their stocking schedules and releasing fingerlings in several lakes and rivers across the state.
The questionable feed was sold to 196 fish hatcheries--26 of the state’s 33 hatcheries received the recalled product. However, because the fish were small and the feed had been recalled, the FDA announced last week that they believe there is no public-health concern.
“The FDA announcement is great news because we see it as a signal to move forward—it’s time to go fishing,” said Rick Hargrave, ODFW spokesperson.
The food’s Canadian supplier, the Skretting Company, recalled the suspect product on May 8. State hatchery managers immediately discontinued using the recalled feed and inventoried all feed on hand. After completing their inventories, hatchery managers confirmed that no legal-sized rainbow trout were fed any of the recalled product.
In addition, ODFW staff have since obtained certification from all fish feed manufacturers verifying that all ODFW fish feed is free from melamine contamination.
“Families can have a great fishing experience this Memorial weekend without any concern with state hatchery fish,” said Steve Williams, the department’s deputy Fish Division administrator.
“The proactive actions we took in regards to the recall and the FDA announcement means we are moving forward with our scheduled fish releases. We are confident that ODFW’s hatchery fish are healthy,” said Williams.
The complete list of hatcheries that were shipped the recalled feed was:Sandy, Willamette, Cole Rivers, Oak Springs, Oxbow, Salmon River, Butte Falls, Cascade, Wizard Falls, Marion Forks, Bonneville, Leaburg, South Santiam, Bandon, Elk River, Rock Creek, Fall River, Nehalem, Trask, McKenzie, Gnat Creek, Umatilla, Cedar Creek, Klamath, Lookingglass and Big Creek.
The feed in question was primarily a starter feed fed to juvenile salmon and trout. It is typically fed to fish until they reach 2 inches in length after which they are put on a different feed formula?eventually the fish are released to be caught by anglers.