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Will Utah take over Jones Hole National Hatchery?

Published December 3, 2013 9:26 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The report filed on the national hatchery system last week is an important one for Utah anglers and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The fish from Jones Hole Hatchery dumped in Flaming Gorge draw a lot of anglers and drive the economy surrounding the massive reservoir. It seems like the Fish and Wildlife Service wants to go with native fish like Colorado and Bonneville cutthroat, but Utah is already producing those species in state hatcheries at a level set in management plans to keep the cutthroat from any Endangered Species listing. If the Fish and Wildlife Service is not willing to work with Utah to produce mitigation fish for the Flaming Gorge Dam perhaps the best option is for Jones Hole to be handed over to the state. That is something that was explored long ago, and it seems like came somewhat close to happening. However, the reliable and strong flow of water coming from several springs at Jones Hole makes it a commodity the Fish and Wildlife Service will be reluctant to lose. If you have thoughts about the possible closing, and change in production at the very least, you should share those comments with the Division of Wildlife Resources and Fish and Wildlife Service.