WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-03) and Derek Kilmer (WA-06) yesterday secured $30 million to implement the newly ratified Pacific Salmon Treaty and $25 million to support Mitchell Act hatchery activities, an over $4 million increase, in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies bill. The bill, which was approved today by the Appropriations Committee 30 to 22, funds the Departments of Commerce and Justice, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and other related agencies.
“As I travel around Southwest Washington listening to folks talk about their livelihoods, I consistently hear the same thing from sportsmen, commercial fishermen and tribes: We must increase the hatchery production of salmon on the Columbia River,”Herrera Beutler said. “I’m pleased that we took a significant step to provide funding for federal agencies to operate hatcheries and passage facilities to improve declining fish runs. Salmon are an invaluable part of who we are in the Northwest. I’ll keep working to conserve these critical natural resources and protect jobs, as well as sports and tribal interests.”
“This is great news for Washington’s coastal communities, which depend on healthy natural resources to thrive,” Kilmer said.“It’s critical that Congress has taken this first step in funding for two programs that will respect treaty commitments, protect salmon habitat, and ensure we are doing all we can to conserve and protect livelihoods in our region.”
The Members secured $30,000,000 in funding to address the recommendations outlined in the Pacific Salmon Commission’s plan to implement the Pacific Salmon Treaty. Signed by Canada and the United States in 1985, the Treaty provides a framework for the two countries to cooperatively manage Pacific salmon stocks focused on protecting and expanding spawning habitat, increasing hatchery production, and implementing conservation measures to prevent overfishing and maximize production.
The Members also secured no less than $25,000,000 in funding for Mitchell Act hatchery activities, which enable federal agencies to work with Oregon, Washington, and Idaho to establish and operate a series of hatcheries and fish passage facilities to improve declining salmon runs in the Columbia River System, in order to ensure conversation of these critical natural resources, maintain economically viable tribal, commercial, and sports fisheries, and provide prey for Southern Resident killer whales.