GREAT FALLS — Montana Fish, Wildlife, Parks (FWP) is asking for help identifying whoever is responsible for killing trout in the display pond at the Giant Springs Fish Hatchery in Great Falls.
FWP Game Warden Andrew Burton believes that someone scaled the chain-link fence surrounding the hatchery and used a knife to spear and slash many of the large trout in the circular display pond sometime after sunset on Sunday, August 22.
Numerous fish in the tank were found with severe cuts and puncture wounds, which resulted in six fish being euthanized the next day, according to a news release from FWP.
Other fish were found dead in the park, and hatchery workers hope that other affected fish in the tank will survive and recover from their injuries.
“This is beyond just an act of senseless and stupid vandalism,” said Burton. “People really love seeing and feeding these big fish, and they are one of the most popular attractions in Giant Springs State Park and the hatchery. Since some of them were six years old or even older, it’s going to take a while now to replace them.”
We do not know if surveillance cameras were in use at the time of the incident.
Anyone with information is asked to call 1-800-TIPMONT or call Burton at 406-217-7855. Tips are kept confidential and a reward is possible.