For a second year, the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) are funding fish production at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Colville Fish Hatchery, a state facility in northeast Washington that was slated for closure under last year’s budget cuts.
Under an agreement that runs through June 30, 2011, the tribes are providing $114,000 to produce 4,542 pounds of trout and kokanee salmon fry. The funding pays hatchery staff and fish-production expenses.
“We are very appreciative of the Colville Confederated Tribes’ support in maintaining fisheries in this part of the state for all anglers,” said John Whalen, WDFW’s eastern regional fish program manager. “We have a long history of cooperation and partnership with the Colville Confederated Tribes and we’re glad to see it continue.”
The Colville Hatchery annually provides about 409,000 trout and kokanee salmon fry to support recreational fishing in about 72 lakes in Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.
“The Tribes appreciate the opportunity to work with the state in maintaining these important fisheries during the current financial shortfall, and ensuring public needs—as well as the tribal members’ needs—are met,” said Colville Business Council Chairman Michael Finley.
The hatchery functions as the incubation and early-rearing facility for native westslope cutthroat trout collected at WDFW’s Kings Lake broodstock collection facility in Pend Oreille County, and for native red-band rainbow trout collected at WDFW’s Phalon Lake broodstock collection facility in Stevens County.
Additional kokanee production for the Colville Tribe will be selectively marked at the hatchery, to determine survival rates, spawning success, and return-to-creel through monitoring on the Sanpoil River and Lake Roosevelt. CCT’s Chief Joseph Kokanee Enhancement Project is assisting in the marking effort.