House Subcommittee Hears Testimony On Fish Hatchery Protection Act

July 23, 2014

(Photo by Robert H. Pos/USFWS)
Endangered razorback suckers grown at USFWS Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery, Ariz.

The Arizona Game and Fish Commission is supporting legislation that would make closing fish hatcheries more difficult. The agency’s chairman was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday testifying in favor of the bill.  

The bill includes a 10-year moratorium on fish hatchery closures. It was introduced by Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar earlier this month.

Game and Fish officials said fish hatcheries are an important source of trout stock for the state adding that closures could significantly impact recreational fishing opportunities.

The United States fish and wildlife service has concerns about the bill. Officials said limits on hatchery closures would reduce the national fish hatchery system’s ability to react to budget constraints, priority changes or maintenance needs.

One of the events prompting the legislation was an announcement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service ending stocking efforts at the Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery in northwestern Arizona.