Groups ask state to reverse fish hatchery permit

Environmental groups have asked the state to reverse a permit that allows a commercial fish hatchery to expand on a legendary northern Michigan trout stream.

The Grayling Fish Hatchery is located along the AuSable River, which is renowned for its trout fishing. The Sierra Club and other environmental groups say that trout population could be threatened by pathogens and parasites from a fish farm that’s allowed to raise as much as 300 thousand pounds of fish.

“Frankly, we think it’s a lousy, lousy place for a commercial fish operation,” said Sierra Club’s Marvin Roberson.

He’s among the people asking an administrative judge to reverse the permit.

The state Department of Environmental Quality says it’s aggressively monitoring the waters surrounding the Grayling hatchery, and developing strict standards to govern a growing aquaculture industry in Michigan.