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Representative Smith Applauds Wisconsin Walleye Initiative
State Plans to Expand Walleye Hatchery Production
MADISON- State Representative Smith (D-Shell Lake) applauded Governor Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recent announcement to expand production at state, private, and tribal fish hatcheries which produce Walleye. “Walleye fishing is a proud tradition in our community, but it’s more than that, it is a critical component of the local economy in northwestern Wisconsin. The state needs to do all it can to promote and protect this great tradition and help our tourism industry,” stated Representative Smith. This program will include: $2 million in funding over the biennium for a competitive grant program for private organizations to expand walleye production and to cover operational costs, $160,000 in one-time funds for the UW Extension to continue working with private aquaculture though the end of the 2014 Fiscal year, as well as providing $500,000 annually beginning in 2015 to contract with organizations to acquire additional walleye fingerlings. “The production of more walleye fingerlings for Wisconsin ensures that there will be years of good fishing as well as a plethora of tourism related activities for years to come in Northwestern Wisconsin. I think this Walleye Initiative is a good start to protecting this sporting heritage and help the tourism industry,” said Representative Smith. It is estimated that under this Walleye Initiative, the increase of large walleye fingerlings from 60,000 to 120, 000 to be over 500,000 fingerlings by 2016.