Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 10, 2012 Issue
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Contributed Photos by Stefan Spoerri

These pictures were taken on Sunday by a licensed Delaware River fishing guide. Above, what appears to be a tilapia fish hatchery along the Delaware River, allegedly the one the DEC has ordered shut down on Big Island, two miles south of Callicoon.

Illegal fish hatchery found on Delaware; ordered to shut down by DEC

By Dan Hust
CALLICOON — The NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has ordered an illegal Delaware River fish hatchery to shut down.
National Park Service Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River Supt. Sean McGuinness said his personnel discovered the hatchery on Big Island – between Callicoon and Cochecton – in July and reported it to the DEC.
According to DEC spokesperson Wendy Rosenbach, the DEC sent officials to investigate on July 29 and discovered a “fish farm without the proper permits.”
Both the operator of the farm, Lewis Wu, and the landowner, whom Rosenbach could not identify, were cooperative, she said. Wu is leasing the land.
Wu was handed violation notices related to water quality, mined land reclamation, inland fisheries, and water resources disturbance, said Rosenbach.
“He’s required to remove and properly dispose of the fish off the property,” she added.
So long as Wu has a written plan of remediation to the DEC by this Monday, he’ll be given through the end of August – and possibly longer – to return the land to its pre-hatchery condition.
However, DEC Region 3 Natural Resources Supervisor Bill Rudge told McGuinness that Wu has been told “to remove any monofilament line or other netting that may entrap, injure or kill birds and other wildlife immediately.”
Despite the presence of piping, Rosenbach said the DEC had not noted any discharge into the river, though the agency is not sure how long the hatchery has been in operation.
She affirmed a DEC officer will be returning to inspect the site after August 15.
Neither Wu nor the property owner could be located for comment at press time.

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