Earth Watch Report  –  Biological Hazards

NEWVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) –

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Biological Hazard USA State of Pennsylvania, Newville [Green Spring Trout Farms] Damage level Details

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RSOE EDIS

Biological Hazard in USA on Tuesday, 11 March, 2014 at 11:10 (11:10 AM) UTC.

Description
March 1 is the beginning of the season at Green Spring Trout Farms, but right now instead of harvesting, they are doing serious damage control after nearly 10,000 fish mysteriously died. “I don’t think anyone would ever do something like this on purpose,” hatchery owner Doug Holt said. He suspects manure runoff from one of several farms in the Newville area may have seeped into the underground spring that supplies his water. Complicating the issue, he said, is the high amount of limestone in that part of Cumberland County. “Somebody found a sinkhole with their manure and I don’t how much of it had to run in for this to happen, but you know, it’s unfortunate.” He’s now borrowed about 20 aerators to continually pump water into troughs for his surviving fish, which are swimming in murky water that is normally crystal clear. “They’re actually picking the water up and splashing it back onto the surface of the raceway to add oxygen to increase oxygen levels in the water to keep the fish alive,” he said. The Pa. Department of Environmental Protection is investigating and has run field tests at the North Newton Township farm twice so far. A spokesperson told abc27 they have discovered a definite contamination, but have not yet pin-pointed the source. Holt said a Shippensburg University professor’s tests have already returned a positive result for bacteria found in manure, which makes sense since farmers usually begin spreading in the beginning of March. Holt said the loss of the fish has already cost him about $20,000, plus fuel and electricity bills are in the hundreds each day. He said he hopes to soon see an end in sight. “If we can’t supply the fish when people want them, they’re going to go elsewhere and we lose the business anyway,” he said. “So it’s kind of a compounded issue.” Holt purchased the farm in 2012, but has worked there for the past 15 years. He said he has never experienced anything like this as long as he’s been there.
Biohazard name: Mass. Die-off (fishes)
Biohazard level: 2/4 Medium
Biohazard desc.: Bacteria and viruses that cause only mild disease to humans, or are difficult to contract via aerosol in a lab setting, such as hepatitis A, B, and C, influenza A, Lyme disease, salmonella, mumps, measles, scrapie, dengue fever, and HIV. “Routine diagnostic work with clinical specimens can be done safely at Biosafety Level 2, using Biosafety Level 2 practices and procedures. Research work (including co-cultivation, virus replication studies, or manipulations involving concentrated virus) can be done in a BSL-2 (P2) facility, using BSL-3 practices and procedures. Virus production activities, including virus concentrations, require a BSL-3 (P3) facility and use of BSL-3 practices and procedures”, see Recommended Biosafety Levels for Infectious Agents.
Symptoms:
Status: confirmed

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Nearly 10,000 fish turn up dead at Newville hatchery

Posted: Mar 10, 2014 9:50 PM CST Updated: Mar 10, 2014 9:54 PM CST

NEWVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) –

March 1 is the beginning of the season at Green Spring Trout Farms, but right now instead of harvesting, they are doing serious damage control after nearly 10,000 fish mysteriously died.

“I don’t think anyone would ever do something like this on purpose,” hatchery owner Doug Holt said.

He suspects manure runoff from one of several farms in the Newville area may have seeped into the underground spring that supplies his water. Complicating the issue, he said, is the high amount of limestone in that part of Cumberland County.

“Somebody found a sinkhole with their manure and I don’t how much of it had to run in for this to happen, but you know, it’s unfortunate.”

He’s now borrowed about 20 aerators to continually pump water into troughs for his surviving fish, which are swimming in murky water that is normally crystal clear.

Read More Here

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PennLive.com

Cause of massive Newville-area fish kill proving difficult to determine

Fish2.JPG
Doug Holt said he battling to save the remaining fish at his Green Springs Trout Farms in Newville. (Jeremy Arias, PennLive.com)

By Matt Miller | mmiller@pennlive.com

on March 10, 2014 at 1:10 PM, updated March 10, 2014 at 10:31 PM

The cause of a major fish kill at a private Newville-area trout hatchery is proving to be elusive, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Environmental Protection said Monday.

Lisa Kasianowitz said experts from DEP and the Cumberland County Conservation District have twice investigated the problem reported this month by Green Spring Trout Farms.

Both investigations on March 2 and Sunday showed lethally low dissolve oxygen levels in the spring that feeds the hatchery, but it could not be determined what caused the dearth of oxygen that was asphyxiating droves of fish, she said.

“No immediate source of the contamination was identified,” Kasianowitz said in an e-mail.

 

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