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Old 05-23-2011, 09:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery (NFH) produces about 1.8 million fingerling and catchable trout with about 1.3-1.4 million staying in Tennessee. Of that total Tennessee number, about 1-million of them end up in East Tennessee waters though they probably come to you via TWRA trucks. TWRA hauls hundreds of loads per year from Dale Hollow out to nearly all east Tennessee, TVA tailwaters and some reservoirs. Dale Hollow NFH also provides all the fish for Tellico State Fish Hatchery for further grow-out. If Dale Hollow closes or cuts TVA production to zero, TWRA will be very, very short on trout, with no short-term way to make it up.



Dale Hollow National (NFH) will lose the base funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to produce fish for TVA reservoirs and tailwaters if the President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 is passed by Congress and no reimbursement agreement is made with TVA, meaning that the 1.3-1.4 million fish they currently produce for Tennessee waters is in jeopardy. One scenario is that Dale Hollow NFH will remain open but will not produce any TVA fish and will reduce production of Core of Engineer fish by 20%, resulting in a loss of around 960,000 fish per year in Tennessee. A second scenario is that Dale Hollow NFH will be closed, because the Fisheries Division of FWS decides that a two-thirds cut in fish production would not be worth continued operations. A third scenario would be if enough Tennessee citizens call, write, or email their three U.S. representatives that Congress puts emphasis on this issue and solves the funding dilemma.



Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery (NFH) was opened in 1965 with the main purpose of what is called mitigation (replacing fish lost due to the construction of federal water projects). In the case of Dale Hollow, this means to continually stock trout in waters around TVA and Core of Engineer (COE) dams to replace the natural species lost due to the lost habitats. Dale Hollow NFH is part of the National Fish Hatchery System, operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).



For decades Congress has instructed FWS to negotiate reimbursements for the funding of these mitigation activities. FWS has negotiated with COE for decades. FWS requests $4.7 million from COE. COE reimbursed $4.5 million in FY 2010, $3.8 million in 2011, and has proposed to reimburse only $3.8 million in FY 2012, leaving 20% short of full reimbursement.



More importantly for East Tennessee, TVA has never agreed to any reimbursement.



In the proposed budget which begins in October, FWS has taken the mitigation money out and will not fund mitigation unless COE, TVA, and others provide full reimbursements; or if Congress puts the funding back in. Congress can help in a second way. Even if they don't put the money back in, they can pressure the three parties to come to a funding agreement that would keep all the fish stocked in Tennessee at the current level. If one of these solutions is not made, Tennessee trout fishing is in deep trouble. Tennesseans need to make our Congressmen aware that our sport-fishing industry is in jeopardy.



You can help by contacting your U.S. representatives and letting them know you want to keep stocked fish in Tennessee by supporting a full-funding solution for Dale Hollow NFH. If you want to help you can call, write, or simply click on your three reps. below and start typing:



Help by contacting both senators:

http://corker.senate...cfm?p=ContactMe

http://alexander.sen...dex.cfm?p=Email



And only your House Rep. Choose only your rep.

http://roe.house.gov/Contact/

https://desjarlais.h...act-me/email-me

http://duncan.house..../zip-auth.shtml

https://fleischmann....act-me/email-me

http://cooper.house....d=117&Itemid=61

https://black.house....act-me/email-me

http://blackburn.hou...ov/contactform/
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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SET THE HOOK!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-23-2011, 10:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by pgail66 View Post
Dale Hollow National (NFH) will lose the base funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to produce fish for TVA reservoirs and tailwaters if the President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 is passed by Congress and no reimbursement agreement is made with TVA, meaning that the 1.3-1.4 million fish they currently produce for Tennessee waters is in jeopardy.


Anyone that voted for Obama last time to prove they're not a racist better vote for the other guy next time to prove they're not an idiot.



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Old 05-24-2011, 06:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Anyone that voted for Obama last time to prove they're not a racist better vote for the other guy next time to prove they're not an idiot.



Joe


This issue still has a fighting chance. Please don't simply accept it and gripe about it. Please take action! The support our friends group has already received has already helped. We've got Diane Black's attention and support, but we've got to get the info out to east Tennessee where the impacts may be worse, if it happens. Many anglers don't realize how many trout come from this hatchery way out in Celina, TN.



Although this budget proposal has Obama's name on it, it was U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that pushed this up for the Administration's approval. This is such a small part of the whole budget, it is not likely that our President even knows or understands this budget cut.



I'm not defending our President, but I want everyone to understand where the blame lies. It is the current leadership in FWS that wants to shift priorities away from national fish hatcheries and towards programs that deal with climate change. Of course, it is the President's nominees in FWS and Department of the Interior that are deciding these priorities, so, in a sense, it's the President's Men that are threatening to take our fish away.



Now keep in mind, this is not a done deal. Congress can solve this by either voting for a budget that puts the base funding back in; or, a more likely scenario in this atmosphere of budget cuts, Tennessee Congressmen can pressure TVA and FWS to come to an agreement to keep raising all the trout @ Dale Hollow to keep fishing thriving. Congressman Black says that she will work to make this happens, but we need Tennesseans across the state to contact their reps as well, since six more of them receive these fish in their district's waters. Our two senators need to be contacted as well. Please use the links above and voice your concerns. If you want to help, you should contact all three of your representatives. We all have the same two senators, and we all have our our district's rep.



You can call or write. If you want to email, just go to the above links and begin filling out the short form and type your message. Your message can be as simple as:



Your House Rep: Please support a full funding solution for Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery, so that our district keeps all the stocked fish produced by that hatchery.



Senator: Please support a full funding solution for Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery, so that Tennessee keeps over a million stocked fish per year in its waters.



If you don't know your House Rep, go here. You need your zip code and four-digit extension. https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml



If you don't know your four-digit extension, go here: http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/welcome.jsp
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:11 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you would like to join the friends group, Friends of the Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery, send me an email, and I'll send you updates on this issue as they occur. You don't have to do anything to join the group except send the email, but you are welcome to work as hard as you want to help spread the information to the public, state officials, and Congress.

[email protected]



There are two solutions to this funding issue.

(1) Congress can vote to put the base funding back in for mitigation activities. This would not necessarily mean a gov't spending increase. Congress can force FWS to take money out of other, planned programs (i.e. $140 million for new land acquisitions) and put the $6.3 million back in for mitigation fish. A vote could cut spending, while still giving money back to stock fish in southeastern states.



(2) Congress and state officials from AR, TN, KY,AL,OK, & GA can put pressure on the "responsible parties" (TVA and COE for Tennessee) to pay full reimbursements for mitigation.



Either solution would mean Tennessee would not lose 960,000 to 1.3 million fish per year.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good...Good day for fishermen. We've not yet won the battle, but business has really picked up.



Thanks to a recent press release in support of the Hatcheries by the TWRA, it's all over the news. Our group has been pushing this to the press for three months, but the TWRA has so much influence that they've got it printing and airing everywhere!



Thanks to the TWRA finally stepping up to support us, we're all over the news in the last fourteen hours.



NBC TV - Nashville

http://www.wsmv.com/news/28013458/detail.html



The Tennessean http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...l-budget-cuts-



Tri Cities. com

http://www2.tricities.com/news/2011/...pr-ar-1064489/

Forbes.com http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2011/...s_8485251.html



Someone in the Hatchery staff also got a call today from The Knoxville News Sentinel (their main newspaper).
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sorry links didn't post correctly even though they show correctly when composing. Anyway, if you google Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery; then click the "news" tab, you should be able to bring up at least four articles/TV segments from the TWRA.
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you have the right plug-in, you can click on the link and hear a podcast that aired on 99.7 WTN, in Nashville, on the Doug Markham show, Sat., May 28 around 6:25 am. about this issue.



The hosts interview Andrew Currie, manager of Dale Hollow NFH. He fully explains this funding dilemma and the hosts ask some good questions to prompt him to say things he's not allowed to say unless asked. This podcast is probably about 20 min. long.



http://www.dougoutdoors.com/dougoutdoors/Podcasts.html
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Front page on the printed newspaper: Knoxville News Sentinel. Wednesday.



http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/ju...l-budget-cuts/



Another TV spot in Nashville. Channel 5 (CBS affiliate)



http://www.newschannel5.com/story/14...ish-hatcheries



Story also hit Clarksville newspaper and five other places in Tennessee yesterday.
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Old 06-02-2011, 08:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Bad News; but it could have been worse. And remember, FWS don't have the final say. Congress does.



Fish and Wildlife Service Washington office has finally come out with a plan to administer cuts if it comes to it for FY 2012. This is in my own words, because I've only heard this orally from a hatchery employee who heard it from his hatchery manager. If I can get this in writing later, I'll put it out.



They will keep all southeastern hatcheries operating with no reduction in force (no layoffs) through FY 2012 (October 2011 through September 2012), however, they will not produce any fish for TVA waters, if TVA does not agree to pay reimbursement in FY 2012. They will produce only 80% of the fish for COE waters, if COE pays only 80% of the requested reimbursement (COE will see a 20% reduction from current levels). Keeping these hatcheries operating w/o reimbursements, however, is not sustainable, and hatchery closures and reductions in force are expected going into FY 2013 if full reimbursements are not agreed upon before then.



Hatcheries will lose deferred maintenance and other capital outlays. Those budgets will be taken away and applied to their operating budgets.



To put this in real simple terms, FWS proposes putting mitigation hatcheries on welfare for one year. I say welfare, because, basically, the Service is going to give them enough funds to employ everyone and for all utilities, but they won't really be producing enough product to justify all that labor and all that infrastructure. However, the hatcheries staying open, with all their folks is better than closure, because, if they close, it is likely we would lose them forever. Another advantage of hatcheries staying open is that they will all still be producing fish for mitigation and non-mitigation that is paid for. If Dale Hollow had closed, for instance, Tennessee could have lost the 80% COE fish; and all the state production they have been doing, even though those portions of production would have been reimbursed. This way, at least Tennessee will get the fish that are paid for.



Now remember, this is still just FWS plan based on a proposed budget that has not been approved yet. We can keep fighting. The information I got was that there is certain congressman in KY, TN, and GA that are pushing hard to get the base funds back in. There is also a certain senator in AR that has raised all kinds of heck with FWS, Washington office staff. My point is that all the public support and all the ****-raising by the state's is making a difference. We need to just push that much harder getting the word out to the media and to get folks to contact their congresspersons.



FWS has already backed off their original budget proposal due to the pressure put on them by Congressmen, governors, and wildlife directors from each affected state. It will take some of that $6.3 million they had cut from the National Fish Hatchery System to keep all these hatcheries open, so they have already conceded some ground. We need to work to put pressure on all parties to work this out before October (FWS, COE, and TVA), and get them all to concede ground for full production.
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