The Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) have agreed to cover fish production costs at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Colville Fish Hatchery, a state facility in northeast Washington slated for closure under recent budget cuts.
Under the one-year agreement, effective through June 30, 2010, CCT will provide $108,000 to produce 4,542 pounds of trout and kokanee salmon fry, plus enhanced kokanee production. The funding will cover hatchery staff costs, as well as fish-production expenses.
“We are very appreciative of this support from the Colville Confederated Tribes to maintain fisheries in this part of the state for all anglers,” said WDFW Eastern Regional Director John Andrews. “This is just the latest example of a long history of cooperation and partnership between the department and the Colville Confederated Tribes.”
The Colville Hatchery annually provides about 409,000 trout and kokanee salmon fry to support about 72 recreational fisheries in Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille counties.
“The Tribes appreciate the opportunity to work with the state in maintaining this important fishery during the current financial shortfall, and ensuring public needs, as well as the Tribal Members’ needs, are met,” said Michael Finley, Vice Chairman of the Colville Business Council.
The hatchery also functions as the incubation and early-rearing facility for native westslope cutthroat trout eggs collected at WDFW’s Kings Lake broodstock collection facility in Pend Oreille County, and for native red-band rainbow trout eggs 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.