New York State Hatchery Infrastructure
Conservation Fund Advisory Board Correspondence
The following is a web version of a Conservation Fund Advisory Board correspondence letter from Chairman Jason Kemper to Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. A printable PDF Version (45 KB) is also available to view.
On behalf of CFAB, we are writing to you regarding a matter of utmost concern to us and all of the Fishing public throughout New York State. In an effort to keep NY open for hunting and fishing we believe it is imperative that our fish hatcheries be brought back up to the level that is necessary to maintain a viable stocking programs.
In the past year, while a capital budget expenditure of $1,000,000 was approved only $360,000 was actually appropriated. Currently the backlog of critical Capital improvements is in the area of $7.5 million. Runways, infrastructure, and overall condition, despite the best efforts of the DEC staff are in a deteriorated state. Unless some meaningful and immediate funding is provided, we believe, it is only a question of when, not if, the hatcheries will be forced to shut down. Information provided to the board by DEC staff show a project list of the state's hatchery totaling close to 7.5 million dollar estimate. As of September 2013 CFAB meeting only $360,000 was spent on the entire hatchery system thus far in 2013-14.
This coming year, the Caledonia hatchery, the oldest facility in North America, will be celebrating its 150 Anniversary. However the condition of the roadways, raceways, main building's exterior, structural integrity and stream habitat is in a much deteriorated condition. It would be a great opportunity to showcase that in fact New York is open for Fishing!
We would suggest that sufficient capital funds be allocated in the 2014 budget. In previous years these types of projects were funded by the NY WORKS Program. The Board is requesting that if there is a NYWORKS III Program this year, the critical hatchery improvements be funded through this program. These improvements would have a long lasting effect on the Hatchery System. Perhaps, we could even do it in time so that we and all New Yorkers can showcase Caledonia on its 150 Anniversary!
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.