Thousands of the rainbow and cutthroat trout fry that will be stocked in Pend Oreille County fishing lakes and rivers this year are compliments of the Public Utility District No. 1 of Pend Oreille County.
The Pend Oreille PUD has contributed $10,800 to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) Colville Fish Hatchery, which has been struggling to stay operational since 1998 budget deficits forced funding cuts.
For the past two years the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Indian Reservation (Colville Tribes) paid to keep the hatchery functioning. Last year the Colville Tribes covered $68,000 of the $78,000 annual operating costs.
The PUD contribution helps keep the hatchery at full fish-producing capacity.
About 600,000 rainbow and cutthroat trout are raised at the hatchery each year, many from eggs collected from local lake broodstocks. The two- to three-inch trout fry are stocked in about 70 fishing lakes and rivers throughout Stevens, Ferry, and Pend Oreille counties.
"The PUD's contribution is the kind of community support we need for future funding of the Colville Fish Hatchery," said John Whalen, WDFW eastern region fish program manager.