The following was sent out Thursday night by the Connecticut Council of Trout Unlimited:
We learned today that the deadline for the Conservation and Development Appropriations Subcommittee to address the DEEP budget is April 1st.
The best course of action at this time is to ask our membership (and our TIC teachers and parents) to check the Subcommittee list and, if their local legislator(s) are on the list, ask them to make contact with them about the reinstating funding for the hatchery ASAP. This time each legislator on the Subcommittee needs to hear specifically from their own constituents.
Greg Sharp, Chair of the Fisheries Advisory Council, has prepared a sample letter and I have put together the list of members and completed the contact information. I also have them sorted by Chapter on the second tab. I’ve also included Greg’s and our testimony to the Subcommitte during the comment period.
Please stress that the deadline is April 1st!!!
A very good piece of news is that Bill 6047: An Act Providing Proper State Funding for State Hatcheries was passed by the environment committee. Greg Sharp sent the following message yesterday:
“Earlier today, the Environment Committee voted favorably on Representative Tong’s bill to set up a Task Force to examine the issue of providing sustainable funding for the State’s hatcheries and recreational fishing programs. In addition to the Task Force, the substitute bill as voted out by the Committee includes a provision to establish a trust fund within the Treasurer’s office to accept donations, grant funds, etc. which would only be accessed at the direction of the Commissioner of DEEP. It does not appear to provide that license revenues and federal excise taxes would go into the Treasurer’s fund, so those monies would still be subject to being cut, swept, etc. by legislatures in the future.
The bill now goes to the floor of the House, where we believe it will pass. I will keep you posted as to the next steps, but I believe we should be stepping up the communications to the members of the Subcommittee on Appropriations for Conservation and Development to urge them to restore the Kensington Hatchery funding. More to come.”
We can thank our friend and fellow angler Rep Bill Tong for this bill.
I WANT TO STRESS THAT THERE ARE NO FUNDING PROVISIONS FOR ANY HATCHERY FOR THE NEXT YEAR IN THIS BILL. EVEN IF THIS BILL IS ENACTED, IF THE FUNDING FOR KENSINGTON IS NOT REINSTATED, THEN THE HATCHERY WILL CLOSE.
If you have any questions, please let me know!
The trout season has officially ended except for the designated TMAs. Opening day has been switched to the 2nd Saturday in April this year so mark your calendars. A few of the open areas on the Farmington have been producing some beautiful browns for those fishing nymphs in these very cold temperatures however most of the state’s streams remain icy or slushy.
The Kensington Hatchery is up on the block for the third time so write letters immediately. The comment period is nearly over. The Kensington Hatchery produces all of the eggs used in SIC and TIC and is the only hatchery in the state capable of raising Seeforellen brown trout and Atlantic salmon. The loss would be a travesty for Connecticut’s fisheries and would also set precedent for more cuts to the state fisheries rather than increasing monies allocated to DEEP.
While you are writing, you might consider writing the Connecticut Siting Council in opposition of an enormous power plant that is proposed very close to the Oxford Airport. This plant will save the average Connecticut customer within a 10 mile radius of the plant approximately $35 annually as most of the power will be sold to residents in R.I. and Mass. The cost of this plant will be six trout streams, the lower estuary of the Housatonic and Long Island Sound.
The proposed Towantic Power Plant will draw more than a million gallons of water annually from the Pomperaug River which is formed by the Nonewaug and Weekeepeemee Rivers as well as Sprain Brook. Currently, these streams run very low during summer months. The plant will be built right near the headwaters of the Little River which is right on the fringes of over development as it sits. All four of those streams contain wild and holdover trout. The grey water or outflow from the plant is proposed to release all of this very warm and not very clean water into the Naugatuck River upstream of where a 6.5 million dollar fish bypass was recently completed. The Naugatuck flows into the lower estuary of the Housatonic a relatively short distance downstream. The estuary contains the largest wintering over populations of striped bass in the northeast. This would be a huge step backward for Connecticut as the Naugatuck and Housatonic have come such a long way ecologically.
Remember, there has been nothing invented by humans since the dawn of time that does not break or fail. what will happen when this plant breaks or fails. Would the damage take decades to repair itself or will the damage be permanent?? Either way, this is not good for Connecticut.
– Ron Merly
The Connecticut Council of Trout Unlimited is fighting to stop cuts in the budget proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy that would eliminate Kensington Hatchery.
This year’s proposed budget calls for the removal of $195,000 specified as the amount necessary to operate the Kensington Hatchery
The following are impacts of the loss of this hatchery:
Valuable genetic traits defining Connecticut River salmon will be lost forever.
Obtaining eggs for the Trout in the Classroom may be more difficult
The Salmon-in-Schools program, sponsored by the Connecticut River Salmon Association, would be terminated after this school year which would effect 60-70 schools.
Up to 7000 Atlantic Salmon fishing trips in Connecticut will be lost with the end of the brood stocking program.
The unique Seeforellen Brown trout will be lost to Connecticut anglers.
Click here for instructions on what you can tell your membership to do to help. You can copy and paste the information to your own website or in the body of an email (don’t forget the links!) or simply share the link on your Facebook Page, On Twitter, or in an email.
Also, Jim Glowienka will be at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to testify at the public hearing on Monday, March 2nd at 6:30. We encourage anyone who can to come and stand with TU on this issue.
OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: OPENING DAY OF TROUT SEASON WILL BE APRIL 11TH!
Secretary, CT Council Trout Unlimited
President, Farmington Valley Trout Unlimited
The budget proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy would eliminate the Council for Environmental Quality, close the Kensington Hatchery and end the state’s pheasant stocking program.
The spending plan must still be approved by the state legislature.
Click here to read more.