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Science & Research

Idaho Fish And Game Uses Hormones To Curb Numbers Of Brook Trout

Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Idaho Fish and Game researchers are testing a new method of fish population control. The idea is to use a female hormone that causes male-born fish to produce eggs when they mature.

By using a hormonal treatment on the fish, the biologists hope to create a monosex trout population that will eventually be unable to breed, which could keep unwanted fish populations at bay in streams around the state.

The Idaho Fish and Game project is being watched carefully by fishery experts outside of the state. According to the agency, the plan will focus on brook trout, which can reproduce more successfully than native trout, and can sometimes snuff out other fish populations. The plan, the state says, isn't to eradicate brook trout – but to curb the fish population in places where brook trout hurt native species.

The agency says the fish would not be genetically modified organisms since the genes are not spliced.

Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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