Issaquah salmon hatchery avoids closure

As state governments all over the country search for ways to cut millions from their budgets, no stone is being left unturned.

In news that sent tremors rippling close to home, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced plans to close a 94-year-old fish hatchery in Butte Falls to help meet budget cuts caused by the recession.

In Washington, the Voights Creek Hatchery on the Puyallup River watershed, and the Colville fish hatchery in the northeast part of the state, are two hatcheries likely to be closed because of $30 million in budget cuts being made by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

But according to the executive director of the Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, Gestin Suttle, the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery has not been targeted for any major cuts this budget round.

The Issaquah hatchery is a vital component of the city’s economy and identity.

Suttle said there had been some staff restructuring as a result of the budget cuts.

At present, WDFW is considering closing seven of the 88 hatcheries that it operates, in addition to reducing the production of salmon at some facilities.

Suttle said that funding was a regular concern for the hatchery.

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