Public Comments Solicited on Draft Environmental Assessment for Continued Fish Stocking in Arizona | Local News

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) made available to the public on Tuesday an environmental assessment project (dEA) of the Arizona Sport Fish Stocking Program. .

The DEA is part of a process to continue to enable federal funding for game fish restoration to support AZGFD’s long-standing program of fish storage for public recreation, as well as for operations and l maintenance of hatcheries. The deadline for submitting comments is 5 p.m. Arizona time on June 11, 2021.

Each year, thousands of anglers in Arizona take advantage of the fish stocking program, which is funded in part by federal dollars from the Sport Fish Restoration Program and augmented by state dollars from the sale of fishing licenses. peach.

Every 10 years, the USFWS and AZGFD assess the social, economic and environmental effects of Arizona’s storage program and, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), prepare a dEA that analyzes possible actions or alternatives. . The preferred alternative for agencies, also known as the proposed action, would allow AZGFD to continue its seeding program for the next 10 years and also includes conservation measures to reduce potential impacts on species. sensitive or federally listed native aquatic or semi-aquatic.

Members of the public are encouraged to review and comment on the ADE. Written comments can be submitted from May 11, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Arizona time on June 11, 2021. Comments can be:

Sent by US mail to Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attn: Dave Weedman, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086 (Postmarked no later than June 11, 2021).

Your written comments, including personally identifying information, such as name, address, phone number, and email address, may be made public at any time. Although you can request that personally identifiable information not be made public, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

View the draft environmental assessment online by clicking on this story at

Arizona recreational angling created an economic impact of more than $ 1.4 billion statewide in 2013, according to Responsive’s 2013 Economic Impact of Fishing in Arizona report. Management (last year such a survey was carried out). In fiscal 2020, AZGFD sold 273,902 fishing licenses, generating revenues of nearly $ 14 million. Over the past six years, AZGFD has stored around 3 million fish per year. The majority of the stockings were cold water species, such as rainbow trout, apache, brook, cutthroat trout, and brown trout. The AZGFD has also stocked warm water species including river catfish, largemouth bass, black crappie, red sunfish and blue sunfish.

In 2013, there were 5,979,637 fishing days in Arizona. Funding for sport fish restoration will allow AZGFD to continue to meet a portion of this demand for public recreational fishing opportunities in Arizona waters.

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