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Registration date : 2009-07-08

Need your vote! Fish hatcheries on the cutting block. Empty
PostSubject: Need your vote! Fish hatcheries on the cutting block.   Need your vote! Fish hatcheries on the cutting block. EmptyThu Jul 07, 2011 5:38 pm

Folks: Keep America Fishing - please take action and pass this down to your club levels so they can sign on the letter to their representative. Keeping the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Fisheries Program funded is in all our best interests. We can't let the Service be put in a position where they are forced to start robbing Peter to pay Paul, or shutting down facilities to make budget. It's not just about National Fish Hatcheries, but about the ability to fund the National Fish Habitat Action Plan, the Reservoir Fish Habitat initiative, etc.

Weigh in and let our voices be heard. If you can't activate the link below then go to www.KeepAmericaFishing.org

Thanks -

Noreen K. Clough
Director, B.A.S.S. Conservation
1170 Celebration Blvd, Suite 200
Celebration, FL 34747
Office: 407.566.2373
Cell: 334.590.2617
Fax: 407.566.2072

Federal Recreational Fish Hatcheries are on the Chopping Block
Cuts to the National Fish Hatchery System budget could greatly reduce angling opportunity

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's (FWS) National Fish Hatchery System (NFHS) is responsible for stocking many of our nation's waters with the fish that anglers enjoy pursuing. Federal hatcheries across the U.S. raise and release millions of recreationally-important species such as rainbow trout to mitigate for the loss of native fisheries due to water development projects. In response to recent cuts in the federal budget, the FWS has proposed an $11 million reduction in NFHS funding, with $6 million coming from the account for operating mitigation hatcheries. If approved, this large reduction will result in the closure of nine hatcheries, seven of which are located in the southeastern U.S., greatly reducing angling opportunity in the region. The impacts of these closures will hit both anglers and local economies hard, as the operations of these hatcheries help support over 3,500 jobs and have an annual economic impact of over $325 million.

The Situation
The FWS provides millions of hatchery-reared fish to mitigate the impacts of dams and other man-made water projects by agencies such as the Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and the Tennessee Valley Authority. If the FWS does not receive full reimbursement for these efforts, they have proposed stopping operations at these nine hatcheries. If this happens, recreational fishing opportunities, especially in the southeastern U.S., will be severely reduced.

The Solution
The FWS is planning to direct money from the NFHS budget to alleviate the impact of funding cuts on other FWS programs and provide funding for new initiatives. These programs and new initiatives make few contributions to recreational fisheries. In the recent past, the FWS had sought reimbursement for mitigation hatchery operations. But now, because this reimbursement is unsure, the FWS is proposing to close the hatcheries and redirect any savings out of the Fisheries program. To keep these hatcheries operating, the FWS must either be assured of full reimbursement or restoration of NFHS base funding until reimbursements are negotiated. Unfortunately, neither of these options is likely to happen without Congressional mandate.

How You Can Help
Send a message to your Members of Congress urging them to take the necessary actions to restore the NFHS budget and keep our nation's hatcheries operating.

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