View Full Version : Erwin Hatchery Closing?

02-21-2011, 12:31 AM
The National Fish Hatchery in Erwin (http://www.fws.gov/erwin/) is reported to be one of the nine on the chopping block. The February 20 news story "Erwin Hatchery closing could have a huge economic impact" (http://www2.tricities.com/news/2011/feb/20/erwin-hatchery-closing-could-have-huge-economic-im-ar-856153/) by Lizz Marrs aired on WJHL-TV this weekend.


02-21-2011, 10:03 AM
There was a budget battle a couple of years ago over a state hatchery in northeast, TN a couple of years ago. I think that hatchery was cancelled, but I'm not sure. Seems like representatives in that area don't much care for trout hatcheries.

02-21-2011, 07:03 PM
You're right, Silvercreek. It had to do with a new facility near Elizabethton. Seems no one, including the public, thought highly of that spending.

I found a more informative article in the Johnson City Press (http://www.johnsoncitypress.com/News/article.php?ID=86815) on the possibly of closing the Erwin and eight other hatcheries in the country and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s reasoning. The closings may not happen, but if so, in addition to the concern over economic impact, I am wondering if the lack of trout in the tailwaters and lower sections of southern Appalachian streams might lead to dangerous pressure on the wild trout streams higher up. Anglers, myself included, tend to follow our passion. As you say,..."Here fishy fishy." :smile:

I shouldn't get too far ahead of the story though. Has anyone heard anything from the TWRA or NCWRC on the matter?

02-21-2011, 07:45 PM
The first I heard of anything like this, and it is strictly third or fourth party, was on another forum. A fellow was at a winter stocking stream when the TWRA showed up to stock. One of the folks doing the stocking said hatcheries were closing and he would probably be out of a job. Then your post showed up. That lent some credence to the initial report. Sad state of affairs. Silvercreek

02-22-2011, 07:16 PM
Nothing definite yet. Still up in the air. Best thing is to contact your US senators and representatives and tell them to keep the hatcheries in operation. The amount of revenue generated by the sport is staggering! National hatcheries supply the entire country, so the effect would be widespread.

02-23-2011, 06:55 AM
John, you are spot on in the need for our making congressional contacts.

Here is some information that can be used to help determine who those contacts would be: National Fish Hatcheries regions map (http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/nfhs/map.html)

02-24-2011, 09:27 AM
Got this off another forum. Not sure about posting a link to another forum, so I will do a short recap. Mr Robinette of the Erwin Hatchery did a TU presentation I believe yesterday. The Dale Hollow hatchery is also slated to be closed. Dale Hollow provides 64% of TN trout. Its fish go to the Caney, Hiwasee, Clinch, South Holston and Watauga. Contacting your representatives is imperative. Silvercreek

02-24-2011, 12:47 PM
We visited this Erwin Hatchery two years ago; it was sort of weird as nobody was there when we arrived....

So we walked all around the place including the indoor facilities and still saw no staff; everything was unlocked too!

This is a Federal Hatchery and I'm not really certain WHERE these fish get sent.... anyone know?

When the Feds give up military property they usually turn it over to the State or local government.... perhaps this is an opportunity for TN to get a "free" facility.

02-24-2011, 02:36 PM
Corbo, I think I read or heard that the Erwin hatchey's main/only product is eggs which are supplied to other hatcheries elsewhere in the country. This doesn't explain the ghost town effect you experienced however. :confused:

The states picking up the facilities would be good outcome it they had too, but with states now having to cut their budgets severely, I'm not optimistic any would get it approved.


02-24-2011, 03:18 PM
Here's a partial list I was given...it is imperative that we motivate as many people as possible. Time to unite with the bait fishermen too, it will take a lot of "voices" to help stop this. I emailed with Frank Fiss at TWRA and his advice was to go to these people, voice our concerns, and get as many people as possible involved. Talk to you local businesses that support the people that use these resources, they are losing income because of this budget cut. If they succeed in closing these hatcheries, our tail waters will surely never have trout in them again the the mountain streams will become as crowded as malfunction junction used to be.

Tennessee Congressional Districts Receiving Fish
Reared at Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery
in FY 2010 (Oct. 1, 2009 – Sept. 30, 2010)

Phil Roe (TN01)
Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir/Tailwater
Wilbur Tailwater
South Holston Reservoir/Tailwater
Watauga Reservoir
Total: 347,929 rainbow, brown, brook, and lake trout weighing 66,610 pounds

John J. Duncan (TN02)
Calderwood Reservoir
Chilhowee Reservoir
Tellico Reservoir
Tellico River
North River
Tellico State Fish Hatchery (hatchery receives all of its fish from Dale Hollow for grow-out)
Athens Recreational Park, Athens (winter trout fishing program)
Total: 183,241 rainbow, lake, and brook trout weighing 55,140 pounds

Charles J. Fleischmann (TN03)
Apalachia Tailwater (Hiwassee River)
Norris Tailwater
Parksville Reservoir/Tailwater
Cherokee Tailwater
Lake Junior, Chattanooga (winter trout fishing program)
Total: 365,131 rainbow, brown, and brook trout weighing 49,016 pounds

Scott DesJarlais (TN04)
Dale Hollow Reservoir (shared with TN06)
Wolf River
Tims Ford Tailwater
Oneida City Lake, Oneida (winter trout fishing program)
Byrd Lake, Cumberland Mtn. State Park (winter trout fishing program)
Pickett Lake, Pickett State Park (winter trout fishing program)
Total: 149,504 rainbow, and brown trout weighing 41,627 pounds

Jim Cooper (TN05)
J. Percy Priest Tailwater (winter trout fishing program)
Total: 14,035 rainbow trout weighing 5,009 pounds

Diane Black (TN06)
Dale Hollow Reservoir (shared with TN04)
Dale Hollow Tailwater
Center Hill Tailwater
Normandt Tailwater
VA Hospital Pond, Murfreesboro
Stones River at Nice Mill (winter trout fishing program)
Cane Creek Park, Cookeville (winter trout fishing program)
Total: 334,088 rainbow, brown, and brook trout weighing 97,428 pounds

Marsha Blackburn (TN07)
Ft. Campbell Military Base
Total: 2,481 rainbow trout weighing 912 pounds

02-25-2011, 01:07 PM
Excellent post, TNFishnstix.

Too all: Since the title of this thread might not register with some, and more is now know on the story, I created another one Trout "Limited"? Nine Hatcheries Possibly Closing (http://littleriveroutfitters.com/forum/showthread.php?t=14884).

02-25-2011, 01:24 PM
Here are the links to the people we need to be addressing on this issue...it's going to take some work on everyone's part. There are millions of dollars in revenue at stake here. the very existence of tail water trout fishing is in jeopardy, and that means tons more people flocking to the mountain streams....heaven forbid!!

Anyway, heres the contact list

Jim Cooper

Scott DesJarlais

Charles J. Fleischmann

John J. Duncan

Phil Roe

Diane Black

Marsha Blackburn

02-25-2011, 01:28 PM
Yes, up in the far upper East Tennessee area, and this is a brood hatchery, they do hatch there but primarily they produce the fertilized eggs for the other hatcheries. the dominoe effect on all of the area hatcheries would be monumental.

Personally, I think this is slated to happen but is primarily put into place so they can get more money from the Corps, TVA, TWRA and anyone else in the system to help finance the operation.

We will see!