April 18, 2014 - 12:01
Trout stocking reduced
Related Articles
Views: 1898
Print E-mail
Trout stocking will be reduced about 20% in the coming fiscal year and could be reduced 85% after that, according to Frank Fiss, Assistant Chief of Fisheries at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

Trout stocking will be reduced about 20% in the coming fiscal year and could be reduced 85% after that, according to Frank Fiss, Assistant Chief of Fisheries at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. The key issue is reduced federal funding for fish hatcheries and a so-far-unsuccessful effort to get TVA to pay for the fish stocked in TVA waterways.

Andrew Currie, Manager at Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery, said the hatchery was created under the Fish & Wildlife Service in 1966. At the time, he said, Congress said the dams impounded by quasi-federal agencies were having an impact on fisheries, so it was the responsibility of government to take mitigation steps. The idea was to offset, or mitigate, the changes in fish habitat that were brought about the conduction of federal dams.

However, Currie said, there was never any specific legislation tying the hatcheries, TVA and the Army Corps of Engineers together for mitigation efforts. Until recently, money was appropriated by Congress and the Corps provided mitigation funding, but not TVA. Now the federal budget is looking at reducing the funds for mitigation hatcheries and FWS is asking TVA and the Corps to help fill the gap. The Corps has made a commitment, but TVA has not.

Travis Brickey, spokesperson for TVA, said while TVA is not required to provide funding for federal hatcheries as part of the national Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act, TVA does take numerous steps to support healthy fish populations, in both the reservoirs and the tailwaters of its dams. He  said TVA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are engaging in ongoing discussions regarding funding of operations of federal fish hatcheries. “However,” he said, “since TVA does not receive federal tax money, all of its aquatic habitat enhancement efforts are paid by electric consumers across the Tennessee Valley region.”

The FWS said it will keep its mitigation hatcheries in the southeast open in fiscal year 2012 but cannot keep them open without help after that. The service is asking the Corps of Engineers and the TVA to pay for fish used by these groups in some capacity. The Corps gave $4.5 million last year and $3.8 million this year, but TVA has not contributed directly to the hatchery yet.

At this point, Currie said, he is not sure what will happen because the federal budget has not been finalized. He said there is a possibility that there will no longer be funds to provide fish for water development projects. He said he is working on a variety of possible scenarios, including no longer providing fish for TVA waterways after Oct. 1 and a 20% cut for Corps waterways. He said 60% of the production at Dale Hollow is for TVA waterways, which are managed by TWRA in Tennessee. So far, he said, TVA has not been willing to provide mitigation funding. Come August 2013, he said, the hatchery may have to close follow a one-year reprieve with reduced production.

Fiss said TWRA is working to maximize production at state hatcheries and find additional production opportunities. He expected next year’s stocking to be down about 20% below dams and big reservoirs, with a larger reduction after that. He said the change shouldn’t affect the small streams that receive stocked fish, but next year could see a 65-85% cut in stocking of TVA waters, which includes the Hiwassee River.

He said hatcheries were built to provide fish to mitigate impacts from water impoundments and Congress appropriate funds for Corps projects but does not have a mechanism to provide funds for TVA projects. For years, he said, the Fish & Wildlife Service was providing those funds. Fiss said TVA is working with the state and FWS to get legislation that will include any federal water projects in the mitigation program.

In the meantime, TWRA may have to re-evaluate its fish stocking program, which includes more than 130 waters across the state, many of which are TVA waters. The state has always provided some funding for extra production from Dale Hollow, as well as trying to make its own hatcheries bigger. There are plans in the works for a new state hatchery in East Tennessee, but that has not been funded. The no-frills cost would be around $15 million, he said, and that would secure the state for current expectations.

Fiss said it makes more sense for FWS to handle the problems of the federal government, noting it’s not fair for the people to pay for use of that habitat because there is no obligation to mitigate. He said Tennessee is harder hit than other states because so many of its dams – 11 of 16 – are TVA, not the Army Corps. Most other states, he said, are only facing a 20% cut, while Tennessee faces the loss of all funding for TVA waters.

Meanwhile, Dale Hollow is faced with what to do with fish on hand and orders that are already scheduled. Currie said it takes 16 months to raise a nine-inch fish and he has an order for 1.8 million eggs coming in August, a lot of which were to be for TVA waters.

Untitled Document
Top News
North Potato Creek treatment moves to ..
The North Potato Creek Treatment Plant treats water contaminated with elevated concentrations of metals and acid. It began operation in 2005.
Commission seeks to protect privacy
Commission rejects Ducktown plan
Audit shows overspending in school sys..
Felony Murder charged
Scam suspects sought
May Primary ballot set
Roof plan sent to Fire Marshall
Parksville precinct to stay open
Standards mean accountability
Local News
Ducktown talks park, trails project
Copperhill lowers water rates
CSCC To Host Get Covered America/Affor..
Festival celebrates spring
Fire destroys Copperhill building
TVA requests electricity reduction
Beekeepers look to help others
Ducktown notes
Polk libraries receive donation
Hooker given community service award
School News
Benton Elementary Junior Beta Club rec..
Shown in the picture are the students who stayed and wrapped gifts after school.
Enriques on Dean’s List
Co-op experience leads to employment
Leadership team project raises $1900
Late score puts Boyd on top
PCHS wins STEM contest
Copper Basin Elemetary Honor Roll
Copper Basin Elementary Honor Roll
CMS Fuels Up to Play 60
PCHS 2013 Salutation
Mrs. Dana Renae Worley, age 50 of Farner, TN
Food for Thought
For this week’s installment of Food for Thought, we have some delicious-sounding ways to bring potatoes to the table brought to us courtesy of Ruth Ann Kersey.
Letter to the Editor
Food for Thought
Letters to the Editor
Remember When...
130 years of history
Letter to the Editor
Editorial opinion 6/19/2013
Letters to the Editor
Polk County Heritage
I’m My Own Grandpa!
Polk County Heritage
Sheep in the Meadow . . Cows in the Co..
Polk’s Septaquintaquinquecentennial ..
1913 photo of the Odd Fellows from Con..
Polk County Heritage - 10-23-2013
Polk County Heritage
Bill Baxter’s Polk Folks
Bill Baxter’s Polk Folks
Part 2: Sacred to Their Memory - The M..
Sacred to Their Memory: The McNairs
Local Events
Guided Spring hike Saturday
Tennessee State Parks will offer free, guided hikes on March 22. At Hiwassee / Ocoee State Park, Join Ranger Angelo for an easy 3 mile hike along the beautiful Hiwassee river.
Bulletin Board 3-19-14
Benefit singing March 8
Bulletin Board - 2/26/14
Ft. Loudoun explores Euro-Indian trade
Retirement event
Holocaust Survivor Ester Bauer Back to..
Grape Escape Saturday
Griefshare seminar Nov. 2
A Gem of a show starts Friday
Local Sports
Polk loses ‘Cat fight
Size and speed were important factors in each of the games and three point shooting played an important part
Two ‘Cats named All State
Polk County High School Powder Puff Fo..
Zach Miller and Tanner Plemmons were n..
Polk splits in Battle of States
Copper Basin 2013-2014 Homecoming Court
Juniors lose
Crickets season at 7-2
Lady Cats season ends
Runners in Regions
Friends & Neighbors
Whitmire retires
Whitmire will be honored with a retirement reception on Friday, March 28th from 11 am – 3:00 pm at the 219 Ward Street First Volunteer Office in Benton.
TN Wesleyan honors
Ocoee Region Beekeeper's Association F..
2013 Miss Christmas Belle
Fairest attends convention
Zion Baptist awarded second place for ..
1980-81 Miss Christmas Belle Photo
Burger and Stevens Engaged
Twin sisters arrive
Brock Celebrates Birthday
Nature & Environment
Homeplace daffodils
Sometimes the prettiest daffodils are not in modern home flowerbeds, but are found in the overgrown yard of an old.. » FULL STORY
Spring is coming
Spring crocus
Red-bellied woodpecker
Frost flower
Frozen circles
Bald cypress
Fall colors hit peak
Change of season
Beauty Berry
Recreation & Visitor Information
Kids Fishing Days slated
The first event, hosted by the Forest Service, TWRA, and Trout Unlimited, will be held at Spring Creek on Saturday, April 26th from 7:00 am till 11:00 am.
Changes made at Tumbling Creek
Rail trips start April 5
Turkey shoot
Ocoee River most popular in nation
Recreation season beginning
Watch for flash flooding
Indian Boundary Overflow closed May 7-9
Kid's Fishing Days slated
Advance reservations accepted at Gee C..
Outdoor Sporting
Hog season changes urged
Wildlife Committee members from Polk and surrounding counties met with local lawmakers, wildlife commissioners, and TWRA last Tuesday to discuss the need to revisit hog hunting regulations in Tennessee.
Greasy Creek could close on stocking day
Big bass brought by
Tellico River fishing day slated
Coon hunting to continue
Opposition voiced to coon hunt change
Wild hog regulations change
Record bear harvest in 2011
Comment deadline Feb. 24
Hunter Safety classes available
Classifieds - 4/16/14
Classifieds - 4/9/14
Classifieds - 4/2/14
Classifieds - 3/26/14
Classifieds 3/19/14
Classifieds - 3/12/14
Classifieds - 3/5/14
Classifieds - 2/26/14
Classifieds - 2/19/14
Classifieds - 2/12/14
Public Notices
Public Notices 4-16-14
Public Notices - 4/9/14
Public Notices - 4/2/14
Public Notices - 3/26/14
Public Notices - 3/19/14
Public Notices - 3/12/14
Public Notices - 3/5/14
Public Notices - 2/26/14
Public Notices - 2/19/14
Public Notices - 2/12/14

Untitled Document

Polk County News | P.O. Box 129 | 3 Main Street | Benton TN 37307
phone: 423-338-2818 | fax: 423-338-4574 | email

web site development Lisa Affordable Web Sites