The baby brown trout has become the symbol of a 15-year effort to clean up phosphate mine waste in Southeast Idaho that has cost millions of dollars but is years from completion.
The tiny fry was the progeny of trout taken from two streams below the J.R. Simplot Co.'s Smoky Canyon Mine and raised in a hatchery in Wyoming. Its photo was one of several dozen in an appendix to a 2,070-page study Simplot did in an attempt to show that allowing higher levels of selenium could be allowed in creeks below the mine.
Mutated Yellowstone cutthroat fry, raised from hatchery fish that never swam in Idaho, also were pictured. One of those fry also grew two heads. But that fish had not been subjected to higher selenium.