News in Brief |

News in Brief

The Associated Press
Aspen CO, Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (AP) ” Family members and volunteers resumed their search over the weekend for a mother of three who disappeared nearly a year ago, looking for clues they may have missed the first time around.

“Whoever did this to Paige is still out there,” said Frank Birgfeld, whose daughter Paige Birgfeld was last seen in June. “And the question is, who’s next?”

Paige Birgfeld was last seen in late June. No arrests have been made. Friends and family have described the 34-year-old, twice-divorced woman as a devoted mother who sold kitchen products and held other jobs to support her children. Authorities said she also had an escort service, a discovery that surprised many who knew her.

On Saturday, Frank Birgfeld and several volunteers returned to places they had already searched, looking through brush, along canals and in wood piles for anything that might have been overlooked.

They said they didn’t find anything noteworthy.

Paige Birgfeld’s burned-out car was found in July, a few miles from her home. Police later found a gun about a half-mile from where the car was, and they have also recovered some of her belongings, although they have not described them.

Dive teams and a sonar-equipped boat searched about 15 miles of the Gunnison River in August.

Over the winter, volunteers looked over maps to decide where to look when spring came.

“It was a relief to be able to come out and do something because the waiting has been hard,” said Andrea Land, a friend of the missing woman.

Frank Birgfeld said he often feels he’s not making any progress. “At the end of the night I don’t seem any closer, but the next day I get up and do it again,” he said.

MONTROSE (AP) ” Thousands of rainbow trout 3- to 10- inches long dart across outdoor basins and raceways at the hatchery in Rifle.

Their potential to fight emerges when the feeding truck rolls around, throwing countless fish pellets into the water and spurring a finned flurry that resembles popping corn kernels.

In a matter of months, these fish will end up in state waters, where they will grow to become the reason for anglers to drive dozens of miles to their favorite fishing holes, trek down long trails on hot days and glue themselves to seats along the river to wait.

The journey of these fish destined to be recreational stock may end in an instant with a hook, but begins years before the actual catch, in an efficient state system producing millions annually. It’s a process not only about rearing fish but collecting data and analyzing a variety of factors in state waters.

Trout stocked in the Montrose area come from all over the state, including hatcheries at Rifle, Glenwood Springs, Durango, Roaring Judy and Crystal River, said Dan Kowalski, DOW area aquatic biologist for Montrose.

Though raising fish takes place all year, summer is the busiest time as hatchery staff haul thousands of fish all over the state.

On Thursday, the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery scooped buckets of trout into stocking trucks. The facility’s biggest truck hauls up to 4,000 pounds of fish, said David “Doc” Capwell, Rifle hatchery manager.

The fish are crowded into a corner before being netted into buckets in what looks like a “big rolling aquarium,” he said.

Raising fish from an egg to 10 inches takes about 10 months ” give or take a few months depending on the strain, Capwell said.

The facility receives eggs from all over the country and then hatch and rear them to 3 to 12 inches, based on stocking need. Each hatchery raises different fish; at Rifle, one of the largest disease-free trout production facilities in the state, a few different strains of rainbow, brown, brook, splake and cutthroats are raised, Capwell said.

Hatchery staff rest a little after trucking away the fish they raise but there isn’t truly a lull time. “You only get about two weeks of that feeling, then these raceways are full up with fish for all of next year,” he said.


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