Congressman Doug Collins (R-GA-09) sent out a presser today about something other than the goings on with foreign policy, Obamacare, the budget, the debt ceiling, and gridlock in general. The Congressman sent a letter to the director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service on the trout hatcheries maintained by the FWS:
Congressman Doug Collins (GA-09) this week sent a letter to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service requesting detailed information about FWS’s longterm plans for the trout mitigation hatcheries across the Southeast, including the Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery in Fannin County.
Fish and Wildlife Service hatcheries, which were created to restore the natural habitats of environments impacted by hydropower, have grown in economic significance over the past several decades because they can create trout populations that bolster local tourism and business. While Congress has appropriated funds for the management of FWS hatcheries, the service has indicated that these funds may not be used for this purpose.
In addition to today’s letter, Congressman Collins said:
“We talk a lot about holding the federal government accountable, and this is one of those times when that has a direct impact on the economy and success of our region. If the federal government is going to abandon the operation of these hatcheries, we deserve to know now so we can do what we in Georgia do best—find a local solution.”
The letter, which can be seen here, presents five questions for FWS management about the future of the hatcheries, ranging from plans for closures to the degree to which the service will cooperate with states who are capable of taking over hatchery operations.