Today, Congressman Larry Kissell (NC-08) introduced H.R. 1160, the McKinney Lake National Fish Hatchery Conveyance Act, legislation to transfer ownership of the McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the State of North Carolina. The warm-water hatchery, near Hoffman, grows catfish used to stock lakes across the state as part of the Community Fishing Program of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC).
"This hatchery is such an important resource to our local community here in Richmond County, and communities throughout the state," said Kissell. "It only makes sense to transfer ownership to the people of North Carolina. The Wildlife Resources Commission's work to provide our North Carolina families with a reliable and fun fishing experience is vital to continuing the rich history of our state. With passage of this bill, we can continue to reap the benefits of a healthy and productive recreational fishing industry for years to come."
The Commission has operated the hatchery under a Memorandum of Agreement since 1996, and grows over 150,000 harvestable-sized catfish per year to provide to the state-wide Community Fishing Program.
"We greatly appreciate all of Congressman Kissell's support in introducing this legislation," said Kyle Briggs, Planning & Operations Program Manager of the NCWRC Division of Inland Fisheries. "Through the transfer of the McKinney Lake Hatchery to the Commission, we will be able to continue providing valuable angling opportunities to the citizens of North Carolina."
Kissell introduced identical legislation in 2010, where it was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee but did not come up for a vote before the 111th Congress adjourned. Reintroduction of the bill this year will now allow Congress to address the transfer during the 112th Congress. Just as they did last year, Senator Hagan and Senator Burr have proposed companion legislation in the United States Senate.