Budget cuts leave hatchery fish going hungry

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 5:28 PM

HUMPTULIPS, Wash. - The State Fish and Wildlife fish hatchery at Humptulips has a million mouths to feed and not enough food to feed them. Budget cuts and other problems are taking a toll.
 
"So it left us about $400,000 short for fish food," said WDF&W Regional Project Manager Ron Warren.
 
The Quinault Indian Tribe kicked in some money and local fishing groups will provide free labor, but the hatchery still doesn't have enough money to raise 250,000 coho.

Those fish will be raised until they can be trucked to nearly Duck Lake in Ocean Shores.

Warren said it's not a good situation but was the best option available.
 
But some fishing groups said the fish are a lost investment of taxpayer money because they are lost to the Humptulips River and ocean ecosystems.

The fish will never make it to the ocean, where they provide food for other species, or back to the Humptulips River, where they can be caught by other creatures and fishermen.

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