Washington, DC -(Ammoland.com)- U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) issued the following statement applauding the agreement finalized today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to restore rainbow trout stocking at Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery in Mohave County, Arizona.
“I was pleased to hear from Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), that today he signed the formal agreement with the Arizona Game and Fish Commission to begin restoring rainbow trout stocking operations at Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery in Mohave County, Arizona,” said Senator McCain.
“Trout-stocking operations at Willow Beach Fish Hatchery are vitally important to the angling community and local businesses along the lower Colorado River in Mohave County, Arizona and Clark County, Nevada, but were suspended last fall following a failure in the Hatchery’s water intake pipeline. When I visited the Hatchery last summer, I was briefed on a variety of engineering plans to restore operation, including some options estimated to cost up to $9 million. I encouraged USFWS and the Commission to develop an affordable and reasonable solution, and am very pleased they have reached a final deal to move these repairs forward.”
“Under the agreement, a new water pump system will be installed to supply Colorado River water to the Hatchery’s stock ponds. The agreement will also ensure that trout will be trucked to Lake Mohave on a temporary basis until repairs are complete. The repairs are estimated to cost $776,000, which will be split between the federal and state wildlife agencies.”
“The agreement will have a tremendous impact on the local and state economy. According to an analysis provided by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, trout fishing supports around 1,700 jobs and generates approximately $75 million in economic activity along the Mohave County/Clark County stretch of the Lower Colorado River.”
“I want to commend the Commission for prioritizing this project, as well as USFWS for working with local stakeholders to find a reasonable engineering solution to restore trout stocking. I would also like to thank Mohave County Supervisor Hildy Angius. There has been no greater advocate for fixing the Willow Beach Fish Hatchery than Hildy and an agreement would not have been reached without her tireless work.”
Arizona Game and Fish Commission Chairman Robert Mansell and Mohave County Board of Supervisors Chair Hildy Angius commented on the final agreement:
“We are proud to finalize a cooperative agreement providing vital assistance to an important industry in Arizona, and are grateful to Senator McCain for his staunch support of returning trout propagation to Willow Beach,” said Arizona Game and Fish Commission Chairman Robert Mansell. “With this agreement, Arizona will retain its reputation as one of the finest sport fishing destinations in North America.”
“Mohave County wants to thank all the people who recognized the devastating economic impact that ending the 50-year trout stocking program at the Willow Beach Hatchery would have had on local communities,” said Hildy Angius, Chair of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. “This agreement could not have happened without our partners at Arizona Game and Fish, most notably Chief of Fisheries Chris Cantrell along with Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar. My biggest thanks is reserved for Senator John McCain, who stood with me at Willow Beach Fish Hatchery last August and promised he would do everything in his power to fix this problem and then delivered on that promise. Mohave County is, and will now continue to be, the finest place to sport fish in the country.”