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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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May 14, 1998
Contact: Madonna Luers, WDFW, (509) 456-4073 or Sheila Whitelaw, Colville Tribe, (509) 634-8835

Colville Tribes rescue state's Colville Fish Hatchery

The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation (Colville Tribes) are rescuing the state's Colville Fish Hatchery by covering its $78,000 annual operating cost. The hatchery was destined to close July 1 under a budget cut plan.

Officials from the Colville Tribes and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will formalize the arrangement with a check exchange at the hatchery in Colville on Friday, May 15, at 11 a.m.

The fish hatchery was slated to close as part of WDFW's $7.5 million budget reduction plan to address a shortfall in fishing and hunting license revenue that could grow to $17 million by July of 1999.

Joe Peone, Program Manager of the Colville Tribes' Fish and Wildlife Department explained that tribal members enjoy fishing in waters stocked by the hatchery, so funding the program has direct benefits to the tribe. Peone said the Colville Tribes' support for the hatchery upholds the spirit of the Tribes' recently renewed fishing and hunting agreement with WDFW. The funds to support the hatchery are donated on behalf of the Colville Tribes from revenue generated through its gaming division.

"The Colville Hatchery will continue as the cornerstone of recreational fishing in the northeast corner of the state," said WDFW Director Bern Shanks.

About 734,000 rainbow and cutthroat trout are raised at the hatchery each year, mostly from eggs collected from local lake broodstocks. The two to three-inch trout fry are stocked in about 60 lakes throughout Stevens, Ferry, and Pend Oreille counties.

"We and the recreational anglers of the state are grateful to the Colville Tribes for this generous move," said Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission Vice- Chairman Kelly White of Kettle Falls.