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May 12, 2000
Contact: Darrell Mills, WDFW, (360) 902-2657
or John Loftus, Muckleshoot Charity Fund, (253) 939-3311, ext. 155

Muckleshoot Tribe donation pays for steelhead rearing

A donation from the Muckleshoot Charity Fund will allow the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to maintain production of steelhead at the Palmer Ponds hatchery on the Green River.

The $5,000 donation covers the cost of rearing 80,000 winter-run and summer- run steelhead for release into the Green River.

The WDFW hatchery was faced with scaling back steelhead production from the usual 290,000 smolts to 210,000, due to budget restrictions caused by a 1998 shortfall in the state Wildlife Fund, which partially supports WDFW operations. Last season, a similar Muckleshoot donation allowed the hatchery to maintain production levels. The recent donation brings the Muckleshoot financial support for production at the facility to a total of $11,500.

"The net effect of this generous grant should be a 27 percent increase in the number of steelhead returning to the Green River in the 2002 and 2003 seasons," said WDFW Director Jeff Koenings. "I know fishers will appreciate the tribe's generosity in the coming years."