WDFW Proposed Budget Cuts

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    • #116866
      Toni Carlstrom

        One of our members provided the following information about proposed budget cuts to WDFW.

        Per the Governor’s office, WDFW submitted a list of cost of reduction proposals. All state agencies had to do the same.

        Part of the proposed cuts are the closure of a number of hatcheries. It is up to the Governor’s office to decide whether or to ask the Legislature to fund the hatcheries as part of the 2021-2023 budget process. The Governor’s final budget request is to be finalized in December with legislative approval next year.

        It took some digging, but I found the proposed cuts. The reductions include reducing salmon and steelhead hatchery production by $5.2 million with the closure of the Tokul Creek hatchery along with 5 other hatcheries. In addition, there would be a reduction of production at other hatcheries and a reduction in hatchery maintenance and repairs.

        Other proposed cuts include closing four trout hatcheries: Arlington, Chelan, Naches, and Mossyrock. These four and Tokul Creek all play a vital part in the stocking of high lakes.

        * Tokul Creek – Most fish for the high lakes come out of this hatchery. Most if not all high lakes in King, Kittitas, Chelan, Okanogan, Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties are stocked with fish from Tokul Creek. Some lakes in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, Lewis, Yakima, and Skamania Counties are also stocked with fish from Tokul Creek. Tokul Creek is also the only hatchery used for stocking Goldens and Trout Lodge Rainbows in the high lakes.
        * Arlington – Fish from this hatchery are stocked in lakes in Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish Counties. Arlington plays a key role in the high lakes stocking program because of its close location to many lakes. In addition, Ross Lake Rainbows are supplied by the Arlington hatchery.
        * Chelan – The Chelan hatchery is the source of all Twin Lakes cutthroat for the state. They collect the eggs each year and then the fish are moved to other hatcheries for distribution.
        These fish are stocked in counties on the east side of the Cascades as well as some lakes in Lewis County.
        * Naches – This is the primary source of fish for the high lakes in Yakima County.
        * Mossyrock – A number of high lakes in Lewis County as well as other lakes in the South Cascades are stocked with fish from Mossyrock.

        The Tokul Creek hatchery is the most important related to stocking high lakes but the others also play a significant role. I don’t know what WDFW’s plan is if any or all of the hatcheries were closed.

        With that, it is probably best to contact the Governor’s office to express your comments. I found a contact form for sending a message (https://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/send-gov-inslee-e-message)

      • #116868
        Andy McGuire

          Hi Toni, Thanks for pointing this out. Where did you find the info on the proposed closures. I think it might be helpful to cite the source if we writ the the governor’s office.

        • #116870
          Brian Curtis

            The governor released his budget this afternoon and we have good news. Revenues were better than projected and none of WDFW’s proposed cuts were adopted.

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