Fish hatchery to stay open?

Proposal would keep hatchery open

The Department of Fish and Wildlife has come up with a new steelhead management proposal that would keep Fall City's Tokul Creek Fish Hatchery open, said Doug Hatfield, who oversees hatchery operations from Issaquah to Darrington.

By the month's end, the agency's director is expected to decide whether to institute the plan, which would reduce steelhead production at the facility from 190,000 to 150,000 annually. It would also eliminate plants of 20,000 steelhead at the Tolt River and 20,000 in the vicinity of the Raging River, Hatfield said. Staffing and other operations at the hatchery would remain consistent with today.

Hatfield said the new plan would help protect wild salmon while maintaining recreational fishing in the area. Last month, anglers and business owners at packed public meetings voiced concerns that a previous proposal to close the hatchery would end fishing in the Valley and hamper the local economy.

The agency still has discussions planned with the Snoqualmie and Tulalip Indian tribes, Hatfield said.

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