MADISON – Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar) and Representatives Nick Milroy (D-South Range) and Janet Bewley (D-Ashland) are pleased to announce that DNR officials have determined that the Brule Fish Hatchery shall remain in operation.
The northern lawmakers said that DNR Executive Assistant Scott Gunderson told them that following a recent tour of the facility by the Secretary that they had concluded that the facility should remain open.
The lawmakers have been working with DNR staff to keep the Brule Hatchery open since an advisory group recommended its closure for financial reasons.
They said that DNR officials have indicated that strong advocacy for the hatchery from local leaders and sportsmen groups helped convince the administration of the need to keep the facility open.
"Since the earlier listening session in Brule, our northern neighbors have passionately shared the message of the importance of this hatchery to our economy and state fishery. Their willingness to work with the department and provide support for the facility has been critical to keeping the hatchery open," said Bewley.
Representative Milroy emphasized that the recent visit by the Secretary and staff was a determining factor in the department's decision.
"Seeing the facility first hand was the only way that they could gain a solid understanding of the unique history of the facility and the importance of the Brule Hatchery to our local and regional economy," he said.
"We are pleased by the decision because it recognizes the vital role this hatchery plays in sustaining the Wisconsin fishery," said Jauch. "Wisconsin hatchery production is already at capacity and eliminating the Brule facility will result in a downsizing of fish production that will lead to a degradation of Wisconsin fish populations."
The lawmakers pledged to work with the department and other legislators to strengthen the state fishery program.
"Our citizens are ready to join hands with citizens across Wisconsin who are willing to make the necessary investments to support the $3 billion sport fishing industry and sustain a healthy fishery program long into the future," they concluded.