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.