WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 25, 2012) — The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved a bill last week that would convey the McKinney Lake National Fish Hatchery in Hoffman, N.C., from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
The bill was introduced in Congress initially as H.R. 1160, McKinney Lake National Fish Hatchery Conveyance Act, by Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC). It passed the House Committee on Natural Resources as well as the full House of Representatives in 2011.
In the Senate, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) led the effort to get the bill through the Environment and Public Works Committee. The bill now goes to vote in the full Senate.
Located in Richmond County, the McKinney Lake hatchery is the primary source of channel catfish, which helps the Commission achieve its fisheries management goals in city and county parks across North Carolina.
“We’re grateful to Representative Kissell and Senators Hagan and Burr for their support of this legislation,” said Gordon Myers, Executive Director of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “This no-cost transfer of property from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Commission would help us continue to provide quality fishing opportunities for North Carolina anglers.”
The Commission has operated the McKinney Lake fish hatchery under a Memorandum of Agreement since 1996 and produced more than 150,000 harvestable size (8-12 inches) channel catfish to provide angling opportunities in the state in 2011.
For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing.