News & Features

Montana Fish Hatchery to Lock Doors at Night After Vandalism

Perpetrators killed about 20 rainbow trout, broke windows and tossed items into water channels at the Ennis National Fish Hatchery

BUTTE – A Montana fish hatchery will be locked at night and begin using security cameras after vandals mutilated several fish.

The Montana Standard reported Tuesday that the perpetrators killed about 20 rainbow trout, broke windows and tossed items into water channels at the Ennis National Fish Hatchery.

The Madison County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the Oct. 27 vandalism at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service facility about 88 miles (142 kilometers) southeast of Butte.

Sheriff Phil Fortner says a witness saw a yellow ATV near the hatchery but no suspects have been identified.

Hatchery Manager Ron Hopper says the fish were cut with garden hoes, ice choppers or other tools.

Hopper says that for the previous 80 years the hatchery was left unlocked for after-hours visitors.