ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - State biologists are seeing increased stress and mortality in steelhead trout returning from Lake Ontario to the Salmon River in Oswego County.
The Department of Environmental Conservation says the fish have an apparent deficiency of thiamine, or vitamin B.
The fish are prized by anglers who fish in Lake Ontario tributaries from fall through spring.
Great Lakes fish predators that feed primarily on alewife are prone to thiamine deficiency. Alewife is an invasive bait fish that contains an enzyme that degrades thiamine.
DEC staff are preemptively injecting adult steelhead returning to the hatchery with thiamine. The fish will be held in outdoor raceways at the hatchery and fed a diet fortified with vitamin B to improve the likelihood of successful steelhead egg collections in 2015.
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