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DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME: MONEY WOES CLOSE CENTRAL STATE HATCHERY

DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME: MONEY WOES CLOSE CENTRAL STATE HATCHERY
 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Central Valley's Fish Hatchery located near Elk Grove is being closed, the Department of Fish and Game announced today.
 Drought relief funds covered the costs of operating the hatchery through this past June. But efforts to seek a permanent source of funds for the facility have been unsuccessful. Since the end of the striped bass hatchery program, future uses of the hatchery have been undefined.
 "In this time of lean budgets, we cannot afford to keep the hatchery operational without a compelling reason to do so," said James Messersmith, manager of the department's Region 2 office in Rancho Cordova.
 The four permanent employees at the hatchery will be transferred to vacant positions occurring elsewhere in the state's hatchery system. There are 22 hatcheries statewide. Although steps will be taken immediately to begin closure, it will take approximately three months to complete the task.
 The hatchery site probably will be sold eventually. The property is adjacent to existing residential areas, and it has three deep wells that can provide an average of 2,000 gallons of water per minute on an annual basis.
 "There are no definite plans yet for the proceeds from the sale, but we have many unmet needs in our fisheries program," said Tim Farley, acting chief of the department's Inland Fisheries Division in Sacramento.
 The hatchery, built in 1936-37 under the Works Project Administration Program, is located on about 40 acres of property bought in late 1935 for $2,000. Many species of fish were reared at the hatchery during its 55-year history. Most recently it produced yearling striped bass for a hatchery evaluation program. Funds for that program came from a stamp required by striped bass anglers. The hatchery's part in the program ended in mid-1991.
 -0- 9/16/92
 /CONTACT: Lanny Clavecilla, information officer, of the California Department of Fish and Game, 916-654-5776/ CO: California Department of Fish and Game ST: California IN: SU:


TM-SC -- SF009 -- 0388 09/16/92 19:35 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 16, 1992
Words:344
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