[Senate Hearing 106-1037]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 106-1037
FORT PECK FISH HATCHERY
AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2000
SUBCOMMITTEE ON FISHERIES, WILDLIFE, AND WATER
ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
APRIL 29, 2000--GLASGOW, MONTANA
A BILL TO AUTHORIZE THE SECRETARY OF THE ARMY TO DESIGN AND CONSTRUCT A
WARM WATER FISH HATCHERY AT FORT PECK LAKE, MONTANA
Printed for the use of the Committee on Environment and Public Works
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COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
BOB SMITH, New Hampshire, Chairman
JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia MAX BAUCUS, Montana
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN, New York
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri HARRY REID, Nevada
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio BOB GRAHAM, Florida
MICHAEL D. CRAPO, Idaho JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah BARBARA BOXER, California
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas RON WYDEN, Oregon
LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island
Dave Conover, Staff Director
Tom Sliter, Minority Staff Director
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water
MICHAEL D. CRAPO, Idaho, Chairman
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming HARRY REID, Nevada
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia RON WYDEN, Oregon
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah BOB GRAHAM, Florida
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas BARBARA BOXER, California
C O N T E N T S
APRIL 29, 2000--GLASGOW, MONTANA
Baucus, Hon. Max, U.S. Senator from the State of Montana......... 4
Burns, Hon. Conrad, U.S. Senator from the State of Montana....... 2
Crapo, Hon. Michael D., U.S. Senator from the State of Idaho..... 1
Clinch, Bud, Director, Montana Department of Natural Resources
and Conservation, Helena, MT................................... 14
Prepared statement........................................... 55
Graham, Patrick J., Director, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks,
Helena, Montana................................................ 13
Prepared statement........................................... 42
Kitzenberg, Hon. Sam, State Representative, Glasgow, MT.......... 7
Prepared statement........................................... 28
Lawson, Chuck, Chairman, Citizens for a Fort Peck Fish Hatchery,
Glasgow, MT.................................................... 22
Prepared statement........................................... 55
McColly, Robert, Valley County Electric Cooperative, Hinsdale, MT 23
Prepared statement........................................... 61
Pratt, Hon. Eleanor, Chairman, Board of Commissioners, Valley
County, Glasgow, MT............................................ 9
Prepared statement........................................... 31
Seilstad, Carl, State President, Montana Walleyes Unlimited, Roy,
Prepared statement........................................... 62
Tillotson, Colonel Mark, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha, NE;
accompanied by Debra Brey, Planning Assistance to States
Program Manager for the Omaha District......................... 11
Prepared statement........................................... 32
Anglers Dollars Boost State Economy.......................... 57
Eastern Montana Agrees: It's a No-Brainer.................... 30
Need for a Warm-Water Fish Hatchery.......................... 30
Baucus, Hon. Max.............................................59, 60
Burns, Hon. Conrad........................................... 58
Martz, Hon. Judy............................................. 60
Racicot, Hon. Marc........................................... 59
Wemhoener, Paul R., P.E...................................... 60
Proclamation, Glasgow, MT........................................ 30
Proposal, Fort Peck Fish Hatchery, Corps of Engineers............ 33
Text of S. 2097, Fort Peck Fish Hatchery Authorization Act of
FORT PECK FISH HATCHERY AUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2000
SATURDAY, APRIL 29, 2000
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, and Water,
The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m. at the
Cottonwood Inn, Glasgow, Montana, Hon. Mike Crapo (chairman of
the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Crapo and Burns.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. MICHAEL D. CRAPO,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF IDAHO
Senator Crapo. Good morning. This is a field hearing of the
Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Drinking Water of the
U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. We will
be looking today at Senate Bill 2027, which is called the Fort
Peck Fish Hatchery Authorization Act of 2000.
Joining me today is your Senator Conrad Burns who, as I am
sure you all know, has been a tireless advocate of this
legislation in Washington, DC and has convinced the Chairman of
our full committee, Environment and Public Works Committee, who
is Bob Smith from New Hampshire, that the bill justified a
If you knew how hard it is to get a field hearing out of
Washington--each committee has only a certain number of slots
for field hearings, and the chairman of the committee guards
those jealously and usually doles them out only when the
details of highest priorities are reached, and Senator Burns
has convinced the chairman that that is appropriate in this
Since it fell in the subcommittee of which I serve as the
chairman for jurisdiction, I got the privilege of being the one
who comes out here to hold that subcommittee hearing--and I
truly mean that.
As you can probably guess, coming from Idaho, I see country
like this and my mouth is watering. In fact, I want to come
back and go fishing. I hope that you'll see me back in your
In any event, we have three panels before us today. I'm
going to conclude my remarks in just a moment and then turn the
microphone over to Senator Burns for his remarks. Following
that, I will lay out some of the rules of how the committee
hearing will proceed and we will get right down to business.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, we should be able to
proceed very rapidly.
Senator Crapo. Senator Burns, would you like to make an
STATEMENT OF HON. CONRAD BURNS,
U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF MONTANA
Senator Burns. Thank you very much, Senator, Mr. Chairman.
And thank you for coming to Montana. You've got to be half a
salesman to get into that committee up there and to get a field
hearing out here, and it would not have happened had we not
told them that there's great, broad support for 2027 in this
part of the world.
We flew in through Billings last night after a pretty good
rain. When we got up this morning, I said, ``All this will be
blown out in the morning and we'll have a wonderful little
plane ride from Billings up to Glasgow.'' Of course, we
couldn't see anything. He said, ``I wish it was a prettier
day,'' and I said, ``Don't say one bad word about those
Senator Burns. We haven't seen very many of them, and so we
We want to thank Senator Crapo for coming up and, as he
said, we have a lot of the same challenges in our States of
Idaho and Montana.
You know, this could be one of the really good
environmental things that we do as a community here in Valley
County. Not only are we providing economic growth, but we also
think this is very important for Fort Peck Lake and this whole
It all fits into the infrastructure of eastern Montana. A
little project that I've been trying to get done and finally
got done is improving the road between Ekalaka and Alzada. Now,
that doesn't sound like much, but it is the only paved road
that we can tap into to get us to the north part of the State.
It is those infrastructure things that we do that make the
entrepreneurs, the people who have imagination and the tools
who can really build this into an area where we are very proud.
Another thing, now that we are into the new millennium,
we're going to see a lot of visitors as a result of Lewis &
Clark. And this project has become very, very important for a
couple of reasons. It puts the right foot forward, as far as
Valley County goes and on the trail of Lewis & Clark with the
history and the culture that is here. So I believe it has many,
many great, positive things about it.
And then, when you get Sam Kitzenberg really fighting on
you, I mean, every day--I don't know who pays his phone bill.
Are you folks checking that out?
Senator Burns. But, nonetheless, we cannot do these
projects unless we have strong, local support, and this turnout
is pretty heartwarming--I realize it rained last night and you
can't do anything, and right now there's a lot of people who
kind of like mud that would have preferred not come in for
these hearings, but to have a turnout like this this morning on
this project is heartwarming.
This project is not without its detractors, and sometimes
its critics, but I think we can work our way through that. We
know what the problems are. We have identified them and all of
the parties are at the table.
As we work our way through this thing, we think we'll have
a very, very solid piece of legislation, and a piece of
legislation that we think can pass this year.
It is important that we get it passed this year, but we are
limited in time because leadership in Washington is telling us
the No. 1 priority is appropriations. Let's get our
appropriations. And we are working on a much shorter calendar
than we do with any other year, because everybody wants to get
out of there and come home and campaign. So we want to move all
the work that we have to do as fast as possible, and then move
into legislation. But this piece of legislation has got great
There is the possibility that this project could be added
as a part of other legislation, so we've looked at all the
The challenges, operation and maintenance, the problems of
the operation of the hatchery--we'll work with the State. We're
happy to have Pat Graham here, who works with Fish, Wildlife
and Parks. All of these challenges are ahead of us, but
everybody is at the table, and we think we can work through it.
So thank you for coming today. Thank you for showing your
support for this great project. We think it is very, very
Mr. Chairman, we want to again welcome you to the State of
Senator Crapo. Thank you, Senator Burns.
[The prepared statement of Senator Burns follows:]
Prepared Statement of Hon. Conrad Burns, U.S. Senator from the State of
First of all, I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for coming out to
Glasgow. I know it is well out of your way, but I know this town and
the surrounding communities join me in thanking you for your efforts to
As you can see, the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery is an extremely
important project to this community. It offers a way to spur economic
development and recreational opportunities in the area. I believe it is
also a way to help the environment. The hatchery will give us the
option of rearing both sport fish and fish considered threatened and
The hatchery project has been citizen led, and supported by the
state legislature. Warmwater fishermen are now purchasing fish stamps
to help cover the eventual costs of operation and maintenance. The
Corps of Engineers has worked tirelessly on the project, and I am
dedicated to shepherding authorizing language through Congress so we
can break ground on the project as soon as possible.
I introduced S. 2027, the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery Authorization Act
of 2000, earlier this year to spur your Subcommittee's involvement in
the process. Notice I called it the Act of 2000. I did so because I
hope we can move this project forward as soon as possible. The
groundwork is in place. The Corps has completed a Preliminary Design
Study and Environmental Assessment, and this town is ready to go.
While I would like nothing better than to see S. 2027 move as a
stand alone bill, I have talked both to you, Mr. Chairman, and Senator
Bob Smith, Chairman of the full committee about including this project
in the Water Resources and Development Act of this year to move the
project forward as quickly as possible. Chairman Smith has looked
favorably on the project and I hope that this hearing will help us find
the answers we need to finalize the details of the hatchery.
At this point in time there are a few outstanding issues that we
will need to address. First, and perhaps the easiest from an
authorization standpoint, but more difficult from my position as a
member of the Appropriations Committee, is the cost of the project.
From the latest set of figures presented by the Corps, it is my
understanding that the total cost for the hatchery project will be
approximately $18.7 million. This will allow the completion of a state-
of-the-art facility that will meet the needs of the region to raise
numerous fish species, including those listed in accordance with the
Endangered Species Act.
While I admit this is an expensive undertaking, the Corps of
Engineers has compared these figures with the cost to construct other
federally financed hatcheries and determined that the build cost is
comparable to previous projects.
The second issue of contention that has been brought to my
attention relates to the delivery of power to the hatchery. It is my
understanding that the Corps and the State of Montana have discussed
the ability to deliver low cost project power to the hatchery in an
attempt to keep Operation and Maintenance costs at a minimum. However,
the local electric cooperative has raised concerns that this power
should be delivered through the co-op. I have asked the cooperative to
estimate what they would charge for electricity to power the hatchery
so we can compare whether this cost increase threatens the viability of
Finally, there has been a discussion of Operation and Maintenance
costs and who should shoulder this burden. As I pointed out previously,
the State has begun marketing a fish stamp to cover some of these
costs, but is it highly unlikely the sale of this stamp will generate
enough revenue to cover all the O&M costs. To make matters more
contentious, State law dictates that the State share of Operation and
Maintenance can not exceed the revenue produced by the sale of the
warmwater fish stamp. However, considering that this hatchery will be
used to raise pallid sturgeon, it is my hope that we can identify a
portion of the hatchery's Operation and Maintenance that will remain a
Federal responsibility to support raising threatened and endangered
I look forward to discussing these issues with our witnesses.
Senator Crapo. I was just handed a statement from Senator
Max Baucus, which we will enter into the record. He was not
able to be here today, but his statement will be entered into
I noted, as I was reading the statement, that he indicates
that he, too, will support us, and on Thursday he agrees to
cosponsor your bill, Senator Burns. I guess you probably know
he's doing that.
Senator Burns. We welcome him aboard.
Now we have the legislation, and his statement will be
entered into the record.
[The prepared statement of Senator Baucus follows:]
Prepared Statement of Hon. Max Baucus, U.S. Senator from the State of
I would like to thank Senator Crapo for holding this hearing in
Glasgow today so that the people of Montana can voice their support for
a fish hatchery at Fort Peck Lake.
Today you will meet some of my real heroes, Sam Kitzenberg, who in
the truest sense represents this area and Chuck Lawson, who has
dedicated his life to making this fish hatchery happen. These are the
kind of constituents its fun to help because their heart is in this
They've convinced me that a fish hatchery at Fort Peck Lake is the
very best kind of economic development for this area. Senator Burns and
I are among their strongest supporters--along with the state's Walleyes
Unlimited chapters--and I know you will join us in this effort after
you've heard how important this project is to all of Montana, but
especially the folks in Northeastern and Central Montana. This fish
hatchery will serve as an example of the kinds of successes that happen
when we all work together, Federal, state and local government and
The Missouri River and Fort Peck Lake provide a great source for a
cool- and warm-water fish hatchery.
With the growing pressure at Fort Peck and throughout the state for
quality fishing, this hatchery is vital to the economy of the state,
the sustainability of our fish populations and the future of Montana's
outstanding fishing experience.
Although Fort Peck was authorized as a multi-purpose project to
include other activities to promote economic growth, including
recreation, those projects never emerged. Building this fish hatchery
will help fulfill the initial vision for this project.
This fish hatchery will also provide a state-of-the-art facility
for the production of the endangered pallid sturgeon as well as other
state and Federal species of concern.
I want to thank everyone who has come to Glasgow to testify and to
support this effort today and all of those who have worked so hard to
make this vision a reality. As the ranking member of the Senate
Committee on Environment and Public Works, the Committee with
jurisdiction over the programs and projects of the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, I intend to include this bill in the Water Resources
Development Act of 2000 that will be considered by our Committee this
Thursday, I signed on as a cosponsor to S. 2027, the Fort Peck Fish
Hatchery Authorization bill. I know that you will hear today that 10
million isn't enough to build the hatchery we need and we will be
making revisions after today's hearing. We are waiting for final
estimates from the Army Corps of Engineers to insert the language in
Senator Crapo. I just wanted to say, Senator Burns, you
reminded me that I should make a comment about what the
processes are with this legislation and where we are headed.
I think the fact that you have seen the chairman of the
full committee and the subcommittee pay enough attention to
hold a field hearing on this legislation means that it is
getting the highest priority focus in Washington, DC.
Senator Burns has indicated that the budget cycle that we
are in--we have a budget that Congress just passed that will,
for the fourth year in a row now, keep the Federal budget
balanced. It will do so for the third year in a row without
taking any Social Security trust fund dollars to do it. And it
will actually, if passed, if the appropriations are added
matching the budget that was passed, the budget will also make
room for some significant tax relief, as well as the kinds of
investigations that we need to make in our national defense and
some of the other important priorities, such as these kinds of
So we've got a budget that has been put forward that will
allow for this kind of thing, but we are in a very difficult
budget cycle, which we have been for a number of years now as
we face the difficult fiscal burdens that we see in Washington.
To get a project in of this size, too, takes a monumental
amount of effort, and so I think that it is significant that
this field hearing is being held.
Senator Burns mentioned the importance of public support.
One of the things that I am here to gauge and have already
gauged is whether there is public support for this project. The
fact that, in a small community like this, a room like this can
be filled is not something that is done without notice, and
will be reported back to the committee and the full committee
chairman, in particular. I think those kinds of things are very
There is legislation moving in Washington right now called
the ``Water Resources Development Act,'' and that act is one
which, if we need to--in fact, it is probably one of the most
likely vehicles that we could try to attach this legislation to
on the part of moving it through.
I think that, short of some of the kinds of political
problems that arise in a Presidential election year that would
cause unnecessary budget problems, we should be able to get the
WRDA Act, the Water Resources Development Act, through Congress
this year, and that I'll give you my commitment, even before we
begin the hearings here today, that I will work to see if we
can get this legislation attached to the WRDA Act.
I have just been also told there are a number of people
standing. There are a few seats up here in the front, and we
encourage those of you, if you would like to find a seat, to
just feel free to work your way right up to the front and get a
It always reminds me of when my folks had their 50th
wedding anniversary, and people kept coming, and Mom said,
``Russell, we don't have enough chairs.'' And Dad said, ``We've
got enough chairs; we've got too damn much company.''
Senator Crapo. If you people in the back of the room can't
hear, there are some people up front that would like to trade
Senator Crapo. Coming from Idaho, I know what holding
meetings in small communities is like. When I walked in here
this morning, first of all I asked what the population of the
area was, and then I walked in here and saw all these chairs
and I thought, ``They're never going to fill all those
chairs,'' and here we've got standing room only. As I said, I
will report that back, because that really says something about
the support in the community.
Now we will proceed. Let me lay out the rules.
We have a full set of witnesses. We have three full panels
for testimony today, so we are going to ask that all of the
witnesses pay very close attention to the timing requirements,
because we want to have an opportunity, as Senators, to engage
with you in dialog.
I will tell you that both Senator Burns and I have read
your testimonies. One of the things that we commonly see, when
we have--and I think you all know this--we ask you to keep your
testimony to 5 minutes. The lights up here will show that. I
believe the yellow light goes on when 1 minute is left, and the
red light means finish your comment and conclude your
testimony. And if you are like most witnesses that we have in
Washington, DC, the time will run out before you run out of
things to say. Be assured that you will have an opportunity
during the question period and the dialog period to supplement
whatever you didn't have time to say during your testimony, and
that we have read your full testimony, which will be made a
part of the permanent record. So I would ask you to try to pay
close attention to those red lights.
Second, there are many people here who were not able to be
accommodated on the panel who would like to say something.
Unfortunately, today we don't have time for you to verbally
address this committee, but we have put signs up around the
room. There are signs up, I think, with our address so you can
submit written testimony. If you haven't been able to see such
a sign or find that address, I'm sure that Senator Burns' staff
here and--do they know how to contact your offices around here?
Senator Burns. If there's any trouble.
Senator Crapo. Get hold of Senator Burns' office. They will
make sure that you know the address to which to send any
testimony or any comments that you would like to send us in
writing. We would welcome that. And those comments will be made
a part of the official record of the hearing. So please be
aware that those comments will not only be received and made a
part of the hearing, but will be reviewed and be a part of the
Now, have I forgotten any instructions?
Senator Burns. I don't think so.
Senator Crapo. OK. Let's go on with the first panel, then.
Our first panel consists of The Honorable Sam Kitzenberg, a
State representative and I understand running for State Senate,
and The Honorable Eleanor Pratt, chairman of the Board of
County Commissioners of Valley County.
We welcome you both to the hearing, and we will proceed in
Representative Kitzenberg, you've already got a yellow
light, so I think you'd better----
Senator Crapo. Go ahead, Representative Kitzenberg.
STATEMENT OF HON. SAM KITZENBERG, STATE REPRESENTATIVE,
Mr. Kitzenberg. Senator Crapo, Senator Burns, other
distinguished guests today, for the record, my name is
Representative Sam Kitzenberg from House District 96, and
during the last session of the Montana Legislature I introduced
House Bill 20, the Fish Hatchery Bill, on the first day of
session, and it passed the last day of the session.
I'd like to begin by saying that Fort Peck is the largest
body of water in Montana, and both of you have had an
opportunity to fly over that this morning. The interesting
thing about it is that it is one of the least-developed areas.
It is 134 miles long and has an area of approximately 239,000
acres, which is more than the Pacific Coast of California. The
potential for fisheries here is almost unlimited.
One of the interesting things about this area is that,
while the winds of economic prosperity have crossed our Nation,
the winds of economic prosperity have not crossed Montana. We
are hurting. Several blocks, a half mile from here, the
Penney's store just closed. The Dollar Store is on the verge of
closing. I could take both of you around and show you many,
many farms that are on the verge of bankruptcy. It may be
raining today in Glasgow, but I think maybe that's symbolic
that it is a rainy day and the clouds are dark in this area. We
need some economic hope.
One of the projects that we've worked on to develop this
was the fish hatchery bill. And I might add we have public
support. I was very appreciative to know that Senator Crapo
served 8 years in the Idaho Legislature, so he can appreciate
this--that it takes a lot of hard work to get a bill through
the legislature. I'm not so sure if it is harder in Congress or
harder in the legislature.
We have a sign up at Glasgow High School, and it says,
``Miracles come after a lot of hard work.'' I can testify that
it took a lot of hard work by many individuals and many
organizations to accomplish this.
As far as public support, last Thursday you wouldn't
believe what this bill has in it. Last Thursday I had the
privilege of joining Roy Snyder and Myron Gartner and Chuck
Lawson and we went up to the Walleyes Unlimited Club at
Marlton. If you were to tell me that my life depended on going
over to Marlton and raising $10,000 for a project, I would say,
``You're crazy. They're hurting worse up there than they are
here.'' That club raised $10,000 for this project. The room was
completely full. There were 250 people there, which was just
That hasn't been the only banquet that we've been to this
year. We've seen this in other places.
I still remember the day that Chuck Lawson told me at
Sagebrush Cellular that he had a great idea for a bill, and I
asked him if he was serious about it. I remember flying to
Billings with him and Roy Snyder to talk to the Walleyes Club
about their support. Before take-off he said, ``If you are shy
about flying, you can sit in the front seat so you don't throw
up on us.''
Mr. Kitzenberg. ``Chuck, I'm not fearful of flying, I just
don't want to hit a deer on the runway on take-off.''
``Sit down and shut up or I'm going to put a bag over your
head,'' Chuck said, and off we flew, to many walleye meetings
in eastern Montana. Most of the time we drove, getting home
late or early in the morning.
And Myron Gartner was along, too, tirelessly contracting
and erecting over 85 signs throughout eastern Montana.
Fort Peck manager Roy Snyder, one of my personal heros, was
our facilitator. He came along, offering sound advice and free
land for rearing ponds.
Then the legislative battle began. There were 50,000 copies
of literature, phone calls, and letters. And I'm here to
testify this was one of the top five issues, that legislators
received more mail and calls about during the last session than
any other piece of legislation. In fact, several legislators
said, ``You can be done with the phone calls and I'll vote for
Mr. Kitzenberg. I remember thinking during that first
committee hearing of the House Fish and Wildlife and Parks
Committee in the House that we were two votes shy. We counted
heads. I was worried. And the bill could have died right there,
but then a miracle happened and it passed out of committee.
One of the things I just want to share with you, one of the
highlights of my life, besides carrying this bill, was one
summer I had the opportunity to meet former Senator Burton
Willard, and he had a cabin at the Glacier Park and I was there
at a sales meeting and was told that he had this cabin, and I
walked over to see him, and I got a chance to visit with him.
There was a gleam in his eye, and one of the things he was so
proud of, he told me, ``It took me 15 minutes to convince FDR
to build Fort Peck Dam.''
I have composed a poem today in salute of that, in honor of
him. Mr. Robert Penske could not be here, so I offer my humble
poem in testimony.
The Fort Peck fish hatchery--is it a dream or is it
Only Congress can tell us now.
The Fort Peck fish hatchery passed the 56th Legislature
Introduced the first day and passed the last day.
Fort Peck fish hatchery needs you now.
Fort Peck fish hatchery--Lewis and Clark passed by it.
Working together, anything can be accomplished.
Fort Peck fish hatchery--April 29, 2000,
Cottonwood Internet, Glasgow, Montana, Senate Subcommittee
Welcome to Montana.
Senator Crapo. Thank you very much, Mr. Kitzenberg.
Senator Crapo. Ms. Pratt?
STATEMENT OF HON. ELEANOR PRATT, CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF
COMMISSIONERS, VALLEY COUNTY, GLASGOW, MONTANA
Ms. Pratt. For the record, my name is Eleanor Pratt. I'm
Chairman of the Valley County Board of Commissioners. I extend
a cordial welcome to you, Senator Crapo, and thank you to you,
Senator Burns, for sponsoring this Senate hearing in Valley
Mr. Chairman, I feel the most important message that I can
convey to you is that our entire community is in favor of the
Fort Peck fish hatchery. Since it was first proposed in 1997,
people throughout the community and many from across the State,
from all walks of life, have jumped on the bandwagon to promote
this new fish hatchery. They have contributed their own money,
written letters of support, and traveled to meetings, all of
which adds up to countless hours of time, and all at their own
The economic base for this area is farming, ranching, and
tourism. The fish produced should be compared to a commodity
like that of grain and cattle; therefore, having a fish
hatchery at the Fort Peck Reservoir makes good economic sense
because it would be an environmentally sound resource for this
county, as well as for the State of Montana.
This part of Montana is known as ``Missouri River
Country,'' and the tour guide brochures promote fishing.
The Fort Peck Reservoir is called ``The Riviera of
Northeast Montana.'' I can remember the first hearing or
meeting I went to and said that. I thought that Senator Baucus
would fall off his chair laughing. But I think of it that way--
a diamond in the rough, the potential of which, some 66 years
after its construction, has still not been realized.
Those who appropriated the funds to build the reservoir had
no vision of how time would change the lifestyles of Americans.
Travel in the 1930's was limited to the very wealthy. Today,
travel is for the majority, for everyone, young and old.
Fishing is big business, and fisherman dollars are good for the
economics of Valley County and all of the other counties
bordering the reservoir.
The need for economic help is better described as survival
for this part of the country, for Valley County and other
counties that have access to the reservoir.
I'd like to say, just so that you can understand that, that
Valley County has a per capita income of just $1 under $19,000.
Fergus County comes in at $17,900, McCone at $15,700. Phillips
at $15,000, and Garfield at only $13,777--very low income.
There is fact I didn't file in my statement, but I'd like
to add it now.
At the time the reservoir was built, privately owned land
in Valley County taken for the Fort Peck project approximated
39,400. Other Federal lands in Valley County transferred to the
Corps of Engineers for the Fort Peck project, approximately
We have been waiting for this to develop.
To further emphasize the severe economic concerns of
Montanans, our Governor, Mark Racicot, has called a special
session for this week, starting on May 8th, to specifically
address economic development.
Good, productive land was taken for the reservoir, and the
taxes that had been paid to the county were lost forever.
In summary, Mr. Chairman, we need your help, and that of
your committee, to make the Fort Peck fish hatchery a reality.
The support for the project is overwhelming. I travel
throughout this State and I have never heard one opposition to
this project. It is a cooperative effort--local, State, and
Federal. The fish hatchery is important for the counties with
access to the reservoir and for the entire State of Montana.
Thank you for allowing me this time. I ask for your support
of the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery Authorization Act of 2000.
Senator Crapo. Thank you very much, Ms. Pratt.
Senator Crapo. Senator Burns, would you like to ask the
first round of questions?
Senator Burns. I don't think I have a question. I think
they really were self-explanatory in their statements. I think
we are aware of the challenges ahead, and I just want to
express our appreciation to the county, Valley County, and to
you, Sam, for your tireless work. I know this has been a labor
of love for you.
As soon as this is all over and we are successful in
building this, Sam, I'm going to come and take an English class
Senator Burns. But I have no questions for this panel.
However, we do have some panels I will have some questions for.
Senator Crapo. Thank you, Senator.
I have one question. Before I ask the question, I just
wanted to say to Ms. Pratt that your testimony about the
importance to the economic development of the community is very
noteworthy, and I appreciate that. Again, the public support
here is just overwhelming. I think that is a very significant
factor in the committee's hearing.
The question I have is for Representative Kitzenberg. I
know that it is tough to pass a bill in either the U.S.
Congress or in the State Legislature. I wonder if you could
briefly go over for me what kind of opposition you did face
when you brought this issue before the State Legislature.
Mr. Kitzenberg. One of the things that we faced was I think
an effort was made to divide the fishing community in the State
of Montana and to warm-water fishermen and cold-water
fishermen. One of the factors is that our State has had a
tendency to favor trout fishing over cold-water fishing. So I
think that automatically the cold-water fishermen got
One of the things that, in fact, I mentioned in my
testimony was that it got to be kind of funny, because a fellow
from the Mile High Fishing Club in Butte got up at one of our
hearings and said, ``You Canadians out there in eastern
Montana,'' and that got a lot of laughter, I can assure you.
I think that, unfortunately, there are forces in our
society that try to divide us, you know, divide and conquer. I
think, once we put all our cards on the table and explained our
proposal, that a lot of this--that there was no threat to the
trout fishermen, that, in fact, this fish hatchery could
actually, in some respects, facilitate some of their efforts,
too, and take out some of the pressure that they would be
feeling. I think, once we laid all our cards out on the table,
reason sort of prevailed.
I think, like any piece of legislation--and Senator Burns
and I were talking about this, too--there are times you have to
have hearings and you have to give people a chance to vent
their prejudices and their arguments, and so a lot of this
dissipated over the course of events.
But there was some opposition there. I think a lot of that
was just clarifying what we were trying to do. And people get
scared when you start talking about a fish hatchery. It's kind
of like launching an aircraft carrier. They want to know if
there is a need. You have to justify the need, and go into all
of that. It takes forever with an aircraft carrier and also
with a fish hatchery just to build it.
But, anyway, in the final analysis, the bill passed,
through all of our opposition.
Senator Crapo. Thank you. At this point, the differences
between the cold-water fish interests and the warm water or
intermediate water temperature--whatever those categories--warm
water, cool water, and cold water fish interests, are they
pretty much resolved now?
Mr. Kitzenberg. I think so.
One of the factors I used is I had a trout tie that I wore
in the hearings. I didn't wear it today. I think that helped.
Senator Crapo. I come from southeastern Idaho, about 90
miles south of western Montana, so I've done a lot of cold-
water fishing. But I have to admit that I haven't caught a
walleye yet in my life, so I think there's good reason I should
get back here to this community.
Senator Crapo. Did you have anything else to say?
Senator Burns. Not any more.
Senator Crapo. All right. We'd like to excuse you and thank
you both for your testimony.
We'll call up our second panel, which consists of: Colonel
Mark Tillotson of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who is here
from Omaha, Nebraska; Mr. Pat Graham, the director of Montana
Fish, Wildlife and Parks; and Mr. Bud Clinch, the director of
the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.
Gentlemen, we will take you in that order. You heard the
instructions on the lights, so please try to follow the lights,
and we will begin with you, Colonel Tillotson.
STATEMENT OF COLONEL MARK TILLOTSON, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF
ENGINEERS, OMAHA, NEBRASKA; ACCOMPANIED BY DEBRA BREY, PLANNING
ASSISTANCE TO STATES PROGRAM MANAGER FOR THE OMAHA DISTRICT,
AND TED STRECKFUSS
Colonel Tillotson. Mr. Chairman and members of the
subcommittee, I am Colonel Mark Tillotson, district engineer,
Omaha District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. With me today are
Debra Brey, the Planning Assistance to States program manager
for the Omaha District, and another member of the district who
was instrumental in completing this study, Ted Streckfuss.
Thank you for the opportunity to present a statement on the
findings of our study of a proposed fish hatchery at Fort Peck,
which we conducted for the State of Montana under our Planning
Assistance to States program, authorized by section 22 of the
Water Resources Development Act of 1974, as amended. I
understand that the Administration is developing a position on
S. 2027, the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery Authorization Act for
2000, which would authorize Federal construction and cost-
sharing of the hatchery.
From December, 1999, through March, 2000, at the request of
the State of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks
and local interests, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted
a reconnaissance-level study of and prepared a conceptual
design plan for a proposed multi-species fish hatchery at Fort
Peck, Montana, under the section 22 authority.
For the study, the hatchery was sited on a 94-acre parcel
of land downstream from Fort Peck Dam. In general, the study
discussed: one, the need for and impacts of having a second
warm-water fish hatchery in Montana; two, the types and
production numbers of fish proposed for propagation at the
facility; three, opportunities for raising endangered species,
such as the pallid sturgeon; four, a preliminary design and
cost estimate for construction and operation and maintenance of
a fish hatchery; five, the availability of Corps land for the
project; and, six, the availability of high-quality water and
affordable power to operate the facility.
Through a collaborative effort, the Corps of Engineers and
the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks determined that a
facility consisting of 54 rearing ponds, having a total of 49
surface acres of water, and a hatchery building approximately
22,000 square feet in size would be accommodated on the
proposed site. This facility would provide a reliable and cost-
effective means of producing the desired fish species to meet
the needs of the State of Montana, including walleye, sauger,
tiger muskie, northern pike, chinook salmon, large-mouth bass,
small-mouth bass, and catfish. The hatchery would also support
the propagation of the endangered pallid sturgeon.
The study was completed on schedule. A summary report of
the basic study findings was provided to the study sponsor in
mid-March 2000, and the main report was provided at the end of
March, 2000. Total study costs were $250,000, with the State
and the Corps each providing $125,000.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. We would be
happy to answer any questions you may have.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to participate in this
Senate subcommittee hearing. We have enjoyed working with the
State of Montana on this study.
Senator Crapo. Thank you very much, Colonel.
STATEMENT OF PATRICK J. GRAHAM, DIRECTOR, MONTANA FISH,
WILDLIFE AND PARKS, HELENA, MONTANA
Mr. Graham. Mr. Chairman, Senator Burns, thank you for
coming to Montana and the community of Glasgow to conduct this
I am Pat Graham, director of the Department of Fish,
Wildlife and Parks, for the record. I am here today to testify
in support of the multi-species fish hatchery which has been
proposed to be built below Fort Peck Dam in Senate Bill 2027.
Next year, the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks will
be observing our 100th anniversary. We will celebrate a century
of successful conservation efforts during which we helped
restore fish and wildlife populations in the State from
historic lows to the general abundance we have today.
The challenges of the next century may prove to be just as
daunting. The demand for opportunities to fish, hunt, and
otherwise interact with wildlife are growing, as are the costs
of conserving habitat, providing access, and addressing the
needs of federally listed species. Our financial resources, as
a result, are stretched to the limit.
The growing demand for warm-water fishing, particularly on
Fort Peck Reservoir, combined with the needs of addressing
species like pallid sturgeon and sauger, are indicative of the
issues we face.
Angling use on Fort Peck Reservoir has steadily increased.
Since we completed our first warm-water fish plan for the State
in 1985, fishing use on Fort Peck Reservoir has tripled. Fort
Peck has never been an easy reservoir to manage for fisheries
because of the water fluctuations during drought years and
providing water for downstream interests, as well as the fact
that the shale substrate in the reservoir makes it unsuitable
for spawning for species like walleye.
As a result, fisheries management has relied heavily on the
use of hatcheries stocking to provide a fishery since 1942.
It was in 1983 when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
decided to abandon its warm-water fish hatchery at Miles City,
but the State's interest in this began to expand. At that time,
the Legislature made a determination that the Department of
Fish, Wildlife and Parks would take over that facility. Quite
frankly, it was falling apart, but it, nonetheless, became the
cornerstone for development of the warm-water fish program.
Over the next 14 years, we invested $6.5 million in
rehabilitating that facility. Today, 75 percent of the
production from that facility goes to a single body of water,
and that is Fort Peck Reservoir.
Fort Peck could utilize even more walleye. The rest of the
State does not have its needs met, either.
When the Legislature last met in 1999, they were made
aware, as Senator Kitzenberg--Senator, he hopes--Representative
Mr. Graham.--they were made aware of the need to construct
a multi-species hatchery for Fort Peck, and it passed in the
form of House Bill 20. And it also created a warm-water fishing
stamp to assist in funding the project.
During the debate, recognition for the need of a hatchery,
the Legislature was convinced of the need for the hatchery, but
that was tempered with a strong feeling that the hatchery would
be largely a Federal responsibility. And Montana's conclusion
that it should be a Federal responsibility, in large part, is
due to some of the unfulfilled promises from the Pick-Sloane
legislation, which I mention in my testimony in more detail.
In addition, we believe it is consistent with the Federal
Projects Recreation Act.
Montana also believes that we contributed fairly to the
recreational fish and wildlife development of the Fort Peck
Reservoir over the past 53 years, and Senate Bill 2027
recognizes that contribution by allowing Montana to use our
contributions as a match for the construction of the hatchery,
and we appreciate that recognition. We have calculated costs
since 1983, and we estimate that Montana has spent in excess of
The other issue is who pays and how much for the ongoing
operation of the hatchery. The annual cost for the State to
rear and stock fish at Fort Peck Reservoir were estimated. We
estimated those costs for a time when the Fort Peck hatchery
would be completed at an annual cost of about $750,000 a year.
What that includes is a cost for egg collection, the operation
of the Fort Peck hatchery, and 75 percent of the cost of the
Miles City hatchery, including the cost of distribution of
Montana will pay for the collection and transportation of
the eggs, will pay for the operational costs of the former
Federal hatchery at Miles City, and the costs of distribution
of those fish, in an amount of $395,000 a year. In addition,
revenues generated from the warm-water fish stamp are estimated
to be between $100,000 and $125,000 a year currently. We hope
that that number will continue to grow.
The Legislature limited by statute Montana's contribution
to the hatchery to the dollars generated from the stamp. These
expenditures collectively will equal two-thirds of the cost to
stock and rear fish for Fort Peck Reservoir. We believe that's
a fair contribution.
The Federal portion then would be one-third of the cost,
which would primarily be for the day-to-day maintenance and
operation of the Fort Peck facility.
The State, in addition, is spending over a quarter of a
million dollars per year on endangered pallid sturgeon, sauger
restoration at our fisheries.
In conclusion, I would like to thank you both for coming
here today and let you know that we strongly support Senate
Senator Crapo. Thank you very much, Mr. Graham.
STATEMENT OF BUD CLINCH, DIRECTOR, MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF
NATURAL RESOURCES AND CONSERVATION, HELENA, MONTANA
Mr. Clinch. Senator Crapo and Senator Burns, first I'd like
to thank you for inviting me to provide testimony here this
For the record, my name is Bud Clinch, and I am the
director of Montana's Department of Natural Resources and
Conservation, but for purposes of today's testimony, I am
speaking to you on behalf of a much larger group, the Missouri
River Basin Association.
The Missouri River Basin Association is a group of
Governor-appointed representatives from each of the States that
border on the Missouri River, and that would be Iowa, Kansas,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and
Wyoming. In addition, we have one representative from a
coalition of tribes.
MRBA has been involved with Missouri River Basin issues for
nearly a decade. Over the last 5 years, at the request of the
Corps of Engineers, we began to develop recommendations on a
river operating plan. As you may be aware, similar to the
controversy that has existed on the Columbia River Basin in
your home State, similar controversies have surrounded
operation of the Missouri River for decades.
Our involvement, at the request of the Corps, was to try to
bring some closure to those conflicts associated with water
reservation, storage levels, and downstream uses for water
supply, hydroelectric, as well as navigation.
Over those 5 years, we conducted a number of hearings,
bringing constituents together from the various constituency
groups across the basin, and several people from the Montana
contingency are in this room.
Throughout that process, we ultimately came to some
consensus recommendations that the entire basin could support
relative to development and activities with the Missouri River
operations. One of those recommendations was the expansion of
recreational opportunities up and down the basin, and included
in that recommendation is the recommendation for a fish
hatchery to be built at Fort Peck.
MRBA has worked with water users and interests to address
the more-difficult issues of drought flow management and
recovery of the basin's threatened and endangered species, as
well. The entire basin supports the concept of increased
recreation and development of a fish hatchery at Fort Peck for
a variety of reasons. Many of those have been stated, but let
me reiterate those.
The development of a fish hatchery at Fort Peck will help
turn Fort Peck Reservoir into a world-class fishery. The fish
hatchery will be good for the economy of the State and the
region, and improvements to the Fort Peck fish hatchery will
draw fishermen and recreationists from around the country.
The fish hatchery would provide mitigation for the ongoing
impacts to the Fort Peck fishery from the river system
operations in water releases for downstream users.
In addition, the warm-water fishery can augment pallid
sturgeon, a federally listed species. Sturgeon fry could then
be released into their traditional waters of the Yellowstone
River and the Missouri River below Fort Peck.
In summary, the fish hatchery at Fort Peck makes good
economic sense and environmental sense. Fort Peck Reservoir has
incredible fisheries potential for multiple species if
appropriate stocking rates can be implemented. Now is the time
to invest in such projects because of the upcoming
commemorations of the Lewis and Clark journey, when we are
faced with tens of thousands of additional tourists coming to
The fish hatchery can enhance the reservoir attraction, it
can restore an endangered species, and it can provide for
economic growth. For all of those reasons, MRBA urges your
support of Senate 2027.
In addition, I'd also like to remind you that, as this
legislation goes forward through our affiliation with the other
basin States, that we can provide you with additional support
from Senators from our neighboring States. I know that Senators
Kerry and Bond have legislation pending, as well, relative to
the fish and wildlife mitigation measures on lower sections of
the river and it is likely that the Kerry bill may become
attached to the WRDA bill. I think there are some natural
coalitions that can be developed here that are far broader than
Montana, and we look forward to helping you with those matters.
Senator Crapo. Thank you very much, Mr. Clinch.
Senator Burns, would you like to ask questions?
Senator Burns. You've got one great supporter of this that
doesn't live here, so you can't go anywhere that you can't get
beat on on this, Sam. It's on both ends of the State. You can't
go to Flathead and expect any relief.
Senator Burns. Tell me, on the basin, on that coalition,
could they or would they or can they provide some financial
help on the O&M? Do you know if that's possible, as we wrestle
with dollars on the operation and maintenance, have we got a
proper estimate on what it is going to cost to operate it after
we build it?
You might want to take a shot at that Colonel, or anyone.
Mr. Clinch. My affiliation with the Missouri River Basin
Association is annual and monthly meetings with other program
directors like myself. Relative to the financial aspect, are
there financial aspects that I could bring to the table from
the State of Montana? I don't know. I have no indication if any
other State is willing.
What we would probably would do is collectively to lobby
Federal legislation to get dollars either through the Corps or
Fish and Wildlife Service budget, or something similar to that.
We have discussed funding for a variety of the other
recommendations that we've made relative to the Missouri River,
and we do have broad support from all those eight States for
Senator Burns. Pat, do you want to walk us through that
part of your testimony on the financial support and how much we
can expect and what is expected from other folks, as far as the
O&M, after we build it?
Mr. Graham. Certainly, Senator.
Attachment eight to our testimony basically lays out our
best estimates at this point. We are estimating that, by the
time that all of this were to come to pass, it will probably be
about 2005 before we will actually have a fully functioning
operation, so those are years we tried to estimate the costs.
What we did was we talked those out across the board with
what it costs, what we believe it will cost to manage this
reservoir fishery and the hatchery program, which includes the
egg taking and the distribution, as well as the daily operation
cost for 75 percent of the Miles City hatchery.
What we're estimating on the Fort Peck hatchery is it would
be about $375,000 a year operations costs--again, those are
estimates--of which, we are again estimating--we're just in the
first year of collection of revenues through the warm-water
fish stamps, and we don't have a hard dollar figure on that,
but we're estimating $125,000 for that stamp, and that will go
directly into offsetting that $375,000, so that will bring that
number down to $250,000.
In addition, we would pick up roughly $100,000 a year of
cost relative to egg collection and fish distribution, and then
about $300,000 a year is what 75 percent of our Miles City
hatchery costs for stocking fish.
So that's where the numbers come from. All together, that
is about $750,000.
Senator Burns. For the record, give me an estimate on the
difference in the size of the facility that you have at Miles
City and what we would have here.
Mr. Graham. The facilities really aren't that different in
size. They are a little bit differently configured here in
terms of surface acreage. We have some larger ponds at Miles
City, so there would be more ponds but they would be smaller
ponds in the Fort Peck hatchery. I think the Fort Peck hatchery
would be somewhat larger, and maybe Colonel would want to speak
to that. I can't give you the exact pond acreages without
looking that up.
In addition, there will be eight raceways at the Fort Peck
hatchery that will provide chinook. And what we're looking at
with the chinook is it's really a part of a three-State effort.
As I'm sure Senator Crapo can appreciate and others, it really
requires--because the salmon die after they spawn, you can't
hold them. Whatever comes back is what we get. Each State goes
its own way, and we have good years and bad years. So what the
three States are trying to do--North Dakota, South Dakota, and
Montana--is an agreement that we share our abundance as well as
our difficult times, so we kind of develop a little bit more
consistent fishery in all three States for chinook. That's
where part of our multi-species comes from.
The other part would be to provide some capability there to
rear sauger, and pallid sturgeon, one of which is already
listed as endangered and the other one is being considered to
be petitioned. I think that will significantly alter and has
already altered normal operations.
Senator Burns. What really caught the eye of some of our
colleagues in this, as far as providing funds and the
authorization, is that this fishery actually had a great deal
of flexibility, where we could deal with some of the endangered
species. In other words, it has strong environmental plans for
reestablishment of those species. I think it is a step in the
Colonel, did you want to offer any comment with regard to
Colonel Tillotson. The costs that we have projected--and
this is a reconnaissance-level design--is we've got just under
$330,000 is what we figured O&M costs would be.
In doing a comparable analysis, we looked at two other fish
hatcheries, one located in North Dakota and the Lost Valley
Fish Hatchery, which is located the north side of Missouri,
which was just completed in March, 2000. These were two similar
type facilities that we were cost comparing in terms of
construction and the O&M.
Senator Burns. Thank you very much.
Senator Crapo. Thank you.
Colonel Tillotson, you referenced in your testimony that
the Administration is developing a position. Do I take from
that that the Administration does not yet have a position on
Ms. Brey. Yes.
Senator Crapo. OK. Could you take this microphone and
explain that a little better? There are no authorities for this
under the current budget?
Ms. Brey. Right.
Senator Crapo. Would the statute clarify that?
Ms. Brey. Yes. We are providing information for the
legislation to help clarify what our authority would be. We
currently do not have a position one way or another. The study
we did was strictly from a feasibility level. We wanted to
provide the technical information on which the State could make
a decision whether a fish hatchery could be supported.
Senator Crapo. Do you expect, then, that the Administration
will not take a position on the legislation until Congress
does, or do you expect a position recommending or upholding
legislation would be taken by the Administration?
Ms. Brey. I would think they would wait for the legislation
before they take a position.
Senator Crapo. All right. Thank you very much.
Colonel and Pat, I may want to get both of you involved in
this. As I read both of your sets of testimony and listened to
it, I'm having a little difficulty comparing the numbers. You
each approach it from different perspectives, as I see it.
You've got different numbers in your testimony.
Colonel, your testimony--why don't we start out with the
construction of the facility and see if there are any
differences there. It says total project costs will be
$18,754,000; is that correct?
Colonel Tillotson. That's an estimate. Yes.
Senator Crapo. Pat, do you have any different numbers on
that regard on the subject? And then, with regard to the
operation and maintenance, Colonel, your testimony is just a
little under $330,000--$328,950. And I believe that that is
focused--well you've got categories there on what it is, but it
is essentially the operation and maintenance of the fish
hatchery facility, itself.
Pat, you had some different numbers which were larger, but
I assume that's because you were looking at a larger picture of
what operations would be needed for the production and
distribution of the fish, as well as maintenance of the fish
hatchery; is that right?
Mr. Graham. Mr. Chairman, I believe that it is a function
of which year you choose to use the dollars, and what we tried
to do in our chart is incorporate inflation for the actual year
it would become constructed. So it would be--I don't think
we're using different sets of numbers.
Senator Crapo. The two of you don't think there's any real
difference in the numbers except for the inflation factor?
Mr. Graham. I believe that's the difference there. We
propose it in 2005 dollars, an inflated amount for that period
Senator Crapo. OK. One of the questions I have is, after we
boil all this down and we look at the various categories in
your attachment eight, Pat, and I see the various sources of
revenue support coming from the State of Montana, in terms of
dollars, using the $330,000 figure, could you give me an
estimate as to what portion of that the Federal Government
could expect to be picking up on an annual basis?
Mr. Graham. Of the $330,000?
Senator Crapo. Yes.
Mr. Graham. If our estimates are correct--again, we're
making estimates on the warm-water fish stamp, so I can't be
Senator Crapo. I understand that.
Mr. Graham. But it would be about $200,000.
Senator Crapo. So the Federal Government would be looking
at somewhere around $200,000 in this year's dollars?
Mr. Graham. Correct.
Senator Crapo. Colonel, where would that come from?
Colonel Tillotson. That would come out of our own budget.
Normally, we would not include it in, but, of course, if it was
legislated we would do that.
Senator Crapo. So, in other words, in the annual budget
presentation to Congress, this will be included in what you
Colonel Tillotson. If the legislation passes.
Senator Crapo. Assuming the legislation passes.
Colonel Tillotson. Yes. They have to have authorization,
and it becomes part of their budget.
Senator Crapo. Right. And, Colonel, I understand that the
Corps has land available; that there is no problem with regard
to the availability of the land?
Colonel Tillotson. That's correct.
Senator Crapo. Mr. Clinch, I was also very interested in
your testimony with regard to the eight States and the tribes.
Now, I understand the tribes are represented by one
representative, but there are a number of tribes represented by
that one representative on the coalition?
Mr. Clinch. That's correct.
Senator Crapo. So there are eight States and a number of
tribes represented on the coalition, and the coalition, the
MRBA, has taken a position toward this project?
Mr. Clinch. That's correct. The issue first emerged early
on in our process several years ago, when we were talking about
various mitigation measures around the basin. I believe in the
audience here is one of our representatives who carried that
message to Bismarck, North Dakota, for our first meeting and on
to the Kansas City meeting. The MRBA included this as part of
the recommendations of the entire basin package that includes
recreation and other economic developments up and down the
Senator Crapo. As you suggested in your testimony, I'm very
familiar with the water management issues that we face in the
Columbia River Basin during the salmon and steelhead issue, so
I am interpreting what you are saying as the eight States that
are involved in the Missouri River are looking at these similar
types of issues with regard to water management and economic
and recreational growth and environmental protection, and they
are concluding that it is proper, for the management of the
Missouri River at this point, that we proceed.
Mr. Clinch. That's correct, Senator. Basically, the issue
here has to do with the reservoir level that is maintained, and
that is highly dependent upon the demands downstream for
navigation. One year this reservoir is maintained at a full
level and provides adequate recreational opportunities, and,
then like we had in the late 1980's and early 1990's during
drought years, it was drawn way down. Consequently, the
fisheries are impacted.
Those issues were all heavily debated and discussed as we
talked about the continued operation of the Missouri River for
all of the various users, and I believe that the consensus
position reflected that while we can't give Montana a surety of
maintaining the reservoir at the perfect level all the time,
having a fish hatchery is one way to mitigate for the impacts
associated with the fluctuating levels of the reservoir. That's
a concept that our downstream representatives are willing to
support, in exchange for us supporting some of the ongoing
reservoir operations that impact us here in Montana.
Senator Crapo. That's very helpful, because, as I indicate,
the management of the entire Missouri River watershed, if you
will, is impacted by the decisions made with regard to the
management and operation of the Fort Peck Reservoir.
Mr. Clinch. Very much so.
Senator Burns. If the Senator would yield, we got in a
terrible spat with Missouri and Kansas, if you remember, back
in about 1992. We were going through some dry years, and they
drew this reservoir way down, and Senator Baucus and I were
very much involved, and all the Senators that represented those
We took along on the point that they have railroads on both
sides of that river all the way to Sioux Falls, if they wanted
to use those railroads. Well, we got into a little water fight.
How do we use the water?
So let me ask a question on that. Are you fairly
comfortable with the situation with the compact that we won't
see those years again, that we can see a better, steadier
maintenance of that flow?
Mr. Clinch. I can't say I'm confident of that, Senator,
because right now we are embarking on the process of review of
the master control manual, and that's the guiding document that
guides the Corps in how they manage those reservoirs during all
of those various years.
The 5-year process that I have been involved in with the
neighboring States was aimed at trying to reconcile those
differences that you referenced.
We basically came to a consensus agreement; however, we
recently found that there is some controversy associated with
that now relative to the potential impacts that threaten two
endangered species, both the pallid sturgeon and the piping
plover, which is a shore bird that nests in the stream.
So this process is ongoing as we speak right now, with a
formal consultation between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
and the Corps relative to the development of the Master Control
Manual. While that may seem like an obstacle, it really
provides somewhat of a springboard for the issue before us. The
pallid sturgeon is very much a species of concern nationwide.
It has interesting impacts to our downstream States. That's why
I said that I believe we can get broad support from those
adjacent States who are concerned about water management and
water releases in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri if the
hatchery can augment those populations, as well.
Senator Crapo. So management of the hatchery has important
environmental ramifications with regard to the entire Missouri
Mr. Clinch. Absolutely. And I think the dovetailing of it,
both as a warm-water sport fisheries with the potential of
rearing threatened or endangered species, is a vital link that
will bring broad support. I think it can help us with these
difficult resource issues well in the future.
Senator Crapo. Thank you.
My last question for this panel is back to you, Mr. Graham,
and it sort of springboards from what we have just been talking
In your testimony you talk about the Federal connection,
why the Federal Government should be involved in the
construction and operation and maintenance of this facility.
Could you just elaborate a little more on that Federal
connection? I know we've just been talking about part of it
Mr. Graham. I talk about the more-recent part, the ongoing
operations of the reservoir. Getting to that, I guess part of
it started with the historical connection to the Pick-Sloane
process in the State and the fact that, while there were a lot
of projections made about the contribution to be made to
agriculture, recreation, and other things, very little of that
ever came to pass. Just a small percentage, less than 10
percent--maybe more like 5 percent. The projections were never
realized about that process, and probably won't be.
So, from that perspective, this goes back to even longer-
term commitments, I guess, at the time people felt were made to
invest in Montana as part of these projects.
So, combining that with the ongoing issues related to the
reservoir operation, endangered species, and recreational
benefits that the State of Montana--you heard about the
difficult times that the agricultural community continues to
experience in the State. We have communities in the
agricultural part of the State that feel sport fisheries could
be an economic boost to their community, and that certainly
sends, I think, a strong statement to all of us for investing
And so, from that perspective, I guess that the economic
expectations that were created with Pick-Sloane may not have
envisioned a fish hatchery at the time, in a lot of ways that
is what it is going to take to continue to, in effect, grow a
recreational base to get people to travel the distance to come
to places like Fort Peck Reservoir to enjoy it.
Senator Crapo. Thank you very much.
Did you have anything further?
Senator Burns. Just a followup with Pat.
In your estimate, was the power cost figured into your
figures, if we experience an increase in power costs?
Mr. Graham. Senator, I'm not sure I can speak to that. I
believe there were certain assumptions made about the power
cost, and so I assume that for the assumptions we are both
operating off of the same one, so I think that we have made
some estimates about what the cost of power would be and those
are calculated in there, and they were reduced rates over what
we would get.
I think, in my understanding, that would take some
Senator Burns. Thank you.
Senator Crapo. All right. We thank you very much. This
panel will be excused.
We will call up our third panel, which is: Mr. Chuck
Lawson, chairman of Citizens for a Fort Peck Fish Hatchery; Mr.
Robert McColly, Valley County Electric Cooperative; and Mr.
Carl Seilstad, State president, Montana Walleyes Unlimited.
Gentlemen, we thank you for coming before us today. We will
go in the order indicated and start with you, Mr. Lawson.
STATEMENT OF CHUCK LAWSON, CHAIRMAN, CITIZENS FOR A FORT PECK
FISH HATCHERY, GLASGOW, MONTANA
Mr. Lawson. Mr. Chairman, first of all, I would like to
thank you for inviting me here today to testify.
For the record, my name is Chuck Lawson. I am the chairman
of Citizens for a Fort Peck Fish Hatchery. I represent
thousands of citizens, both resident and non-resident, who have
come together to improve warm-water angling in Montana and at
the same time try to help Montana's struggling economy.
Statistics show that annual inflation in Montana has
increased dramatically in the last five to 8 years. Some of
these increases have been as much as 150 percent. We feel the
need for a second hatchery is extremely critical.
We had Senator Sam Kitzenberg offer legislation that a
warm-water stamp would have to be purchased before angling for
warm-water species, and legislation to propose the new fish
hatchery. The funds from the warm-water stamp will be used to
fund the administration, maintenance, and construction costs of
the new hatchery. We took this piece of legislation through and
got both the stamp and the hatchery passed into law.
Our next step was the conceptual design and cost study for
the Fort Peck hatchery. We needed to do this quickly because
there is a amendment to the hatchery legislation that states
that we must have full Federal funding by June 30, 2001, or
this hatchery project will die.
Senator Burns was instrumental in helping us find a 50
percent cost share from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers'
planning assistance to States program. We needed to come up
with the other 125. The State didn't have that money, so we
approached our local bank and we asked if we could borrow
$125,000 against the warm-water stamp.
Our local banker stated he would check into this and let us
know. At the same time, we got the go-ahead to use the stamp
money to repay this loan. The stamp didn't go on sale until
March of this year, and we needed that money in December of
About a week later, our banker called and stated that he
had 14 banks, two credit unions, and a telephone cooperative
that would take equal portions of this loan to loan us the
money for the study.
It was quite an accomplishment in a short time. It was a
risk, because nobody knows for sure how much the warm-water
stamp will raise.
The study is now completed and has been given to the
Montana Congressional delegation to try to secure funding for
the hatchery. We believe that the Federal Government has some
obligation to help with this funding. They came in and built
that dam in the 1930's. Montana citizens were promised low-cost
power, as well as irrigation water from the Fort Peck project.
As of today, I don't know of anyone that operates or irrigates
out of Fort Peck Reservoir on any big-scale basis, and the
power that is generated here goes back east.
So Montana and the citizens have been promised all of the
benefits from Fort Peck, and, at the same time, Montana and its
citizens have spent millions of dollars trying to improve
recreation along Fort Peck Reservoir. When the dam was built,
the water behind the dam flooded some of the most productive
agricultural land in part of eastern Montana. Montana has also
built access roads around the lake, and they have maintained
these roads for many, many years.
We also feel that the dams along the Missouri River has
altered the migration of both the pallid sturgeon and
threatened species, and we also know that sauger is a species
native to the Missouri River and a very popular sports fish
here in Montana. Their numbers are dwindling, and they are
becoming a species of special concern for Montana's Department
of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
We, as citizens, are not afraid to do our part. We have
enforced a self-imposed $5 stamp, which will help pay for the
operation and maintenance of the hatchery, once operational,
and we will assist Fish, Wildlife and Parks in many areas of
fish production, both monetary and with volunteer labor. So we
are not asking the Federal Government to do this, but to be a
partner with the State, the private sector, and citizens to
help make this truly a win/win situation for all parties
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Crapo. Thank you very much, Mr. Lawson.
STATEMENT OF ROBERT MC COLLY, VALLEY COUNTY ELECTRIC
COOPERATIVE, HINSDALE, MONTANA
Mr. McColly. Mr. Chairman, Senator burns, thank you for
inviting me to testify at this hearing today.
For the record, my name is Robert McColly. I am a life-long
resident of Valley County, Montana. I am a former Board
President and member of Valley Electric Cooperative of Glasgow,
a former member of the Electric Consumers Association of
Denver, former Board President and member of the Midwest
Electric Consumers Association, and former board member of the
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association of Washington,
DC. I have been with the rural electric cooperative movement
since 1964. Today I am speaking on behalf of Valley Electric
Cooperative of Glasgow.
First, I would like to assure you that we are very much in
favor of the warm-water fish hatchery at Fort Peck, which is
the subject of this hearing, S. 2027. We believe that its
establishment will be beneficial to the entire State of
Montana, as well as Valley County. We do, however, have some
very serious concerns about the power supply provisions
contained in section six, cost sharing, (b)(3), where it
states, ``The Secretary of the Army shall offer to the hatchery
project low-cost project power for all hatchery operations.''
Marketing of power produced at Fort Peck and other Missouri
River dams is not the responsibility of the Corps of Engineers,
but rather the Western Area Power Administration, WAPA, which
was established in 1977 for that specific purpose. All of the
generated power is presently under contract. That means that
any legislation enacted that calls for additional allocations
of that power would withdraw power from existing customers.
Valley Electric Cooperative can ill-afford the loss of that
The Flood Control Act of 1944 provided that the federally
generated power would be first offered to the consumer-owned
utilities of the region, but that is not enough power to supply
the rural electric demand. Basin Electric Cooperative and
Montana Power Company are the main sources of that supplemental
The hatchery will be the Valley Electric Cooperative
service area. If Valley Electric supplied the power, the
hatchery would receive the benefits of the Pick-Sloane power at
least on the same basis as the rest of the consumers. Valley
Electric is capable and willing to provide the electrical power
for the hatchery facility and I strongly believe that is the
proper and fair way it should be handled.
Again, we are very much in favor of the proposed fish
hatchery, but we just don't think the power for it should be at
the expense of our rural electric customers.
Thank you for hearing our concerns.
Senator Crapo. Thank you very much, Mr. McColly.
STATEMENT OF CARL SEILSTAD, STATE PRESIDENT, MONTANA WALLEYES
UNLIMITED, ROY, MONTANA
Mr. Seilstad. Mr. Chairman, Senator Burns, I would like to
thank you for allowing me to testify.
For the record, my name is Carl Seilstad, and I am the
current president of Walleyes Unlimited. it is an honor to
represent Walleyes Unlimited and all us warm-water fishermen
across the State in promoting the multi-species fish hatchery.
Walleyes Unlimited is an organization that helps promote,
enhance, and protect the future of fishing in Montana. We have
a membership in excess of 4,000 members. We have 18 chapters
scattered across the State of Montana. Warm water anglers are
all over the State.
Individual citizens as well as various organizations have
put forth a lot of time and effort to promote the hatchery to
where it is today. People who have said that they do not even
fish have jumped on board with us and are helping us out. This
defines the amount of support we have received on the hatchery.
As of April 23, 2000, $63,867 has been contributed to the
hatchery fund. Walleye Unlimited chapters, private citizens,
and various businesses and organizations have contributed to
this fund. These funds are what is helping us pay off the loan
that Chuck was talking about that we took on for the conceptual
We as Walleye Unlimited members strongly believe the new
hatchery will help preserve and protect the future of fishing
for generations to come.
Mr. Chairman, you've heard about the economic importance of
the hatchery, endangered species, how fishing is increasing,
but I think we're leaving out something here, and I'll go into
that right now, and that's that our Walleye Unlimited chapters
across the State each year conduct kids' fishing days. We teach
young anglers knot tying, importance of catch and release,
various fishing techniques and ethics. We feel it is very
important to get our children involved in fishing.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has started a program,
``get hooked on fishing, not on drugs.''
The schools and teachers across the State that are involved
in this program, when they sign up for it they are sent fishing
tackle from the State Fish, Wildlife and Parks and booklets on
techniques and ethics of fishing. Field fishing days and
classroom activities make this program very beneficial.
Young kids, when they net their first walleye, it's just
like their first deer they kill. They get a grin from ear to
ear, and it is like you put a beam of light in them. They start
glowing like crazy.
We do all of these activities and programs for our future
anglers. Let's ensure these young people we will have quality
warm-water fishing in the State. The new warm-water, multi-
species hatchery will help make this goal a reality.
Senator Crapo. Thank you very much, Mr. Seilstad.
Senator Burns. I want to pursue this thing of power for the
hatchery down there. We want to work with you and the
cooperative in order to make that possible. What would be the
difference in the cost of that power? Do you have a current
estimation on that on the provision of providing power?
Mr. McColly. Sir, I don't really know what the difference
of cost would be. I know that each one of the rural electric
cooperatives that have an allocation have turned that
allocation over to Central Montana Electric Cooperative, which
is the wholesale supplier to those rural electric systems in
central Montana. It has been pooled there and redistributed on
the per capita basis to the rural electric systems that are
involved in it.
It has been quite a few years since I have actually been
involved in it, Senator, so I don't really know what those
Senator Burns. You talk about all the power. Is there
enough power? Do we have enough power?
Mr. McColly. We have supplemental power that provides the
rural electric systems, and most of that power is purchased
from the WAPA. We take all the WAPA power that we can get, but
they keep reducing it. In fact, at the end of this year we are
going to lose 4 percent of the WAPA power. That is being
reallocated to the tribes. That will come off of the allocation
that we currently have.
The power that we don't have, we don't have enough WAPA
power to serve our systems, but the supplemental power we
purchase from Basin Electric, which is a wholesale power
supplier in Bismarck, and some of it from Montana Power
Company. But we do not have enough WAPA power to supply our
Senator Burns. OK. I think this is probably our greatest
challenge, the operation. We look forward to working with you
to make sure we've got electricity to operate that thing. Thank
I just want to take an opportunity to let everybody know
Senator Baucus' State representative is here, Sharon Peters.
Sharon, wave your hand back there. If you have questions of his
office, Sharon is here and she will help you.
I think that, in itself, as we move this legislation
through, as it impacts the rest of your ratepayers, is where we
find the challenge, and we look forward to working with you on
Mr. McColly. We appreciate that.
Senator Crapo. Thank you.
Mr. McColly, I want to followup on that a little bit. Do
you know what the average cost of power is for your
Mr. McColly. I'm sorry, again, Senator. I kind of retired
from this business about 10 or 12 years ago and have been
trying to stay away from it.
Senator Crapo. Smart move.
I notice here in the report that the projected costs for
electricity are about $31,250 per year. I know in your
testimony that project rates for electricity is 2.5 mils, where
the customers of yours were paying 13 and 14.54 mils. I don't
know what rate the proposal is that the legislation contains
right now, what that rate would be. Do you have an idea about
Mr. McColly. I'm sorry. I don't have the foggiest idea.
Senator Crapo. All right. Well, that's something we are
going to have to investigate so we make sure we take into
consideration the concerns you've raised. We do want to work
with you on that.
Mr. McColly. Thank you very much.
Senator Crapo. Mr. Lawson, you indicated that the State
legislation contained a deadline for a Federal commitment. Was
that June 30th of 2000?
Mr. Lawson. It is June 30th of 2001 that we've got to have
a firm commitment of Federal dollars. I don't know if the
amendment is specific as to how many Federal dollars.
Senator Crapo. I was going to ask that next.
Mr. Lawson. I know we do need some Federal commitment
according to that amendment.
Senator Crapo. All right. And I wondered in your testimony,
where you talked about the connection to the Federal
obligation, and you indicated that some of the Federal dams on
the Missouri River have caused some species issues in terms of
water flows and obstruction of fish paths in the river. Is that
what the impact was?
Mr. Seilstad. Yes.
Senator Crapo. I want to say that I agree with the analysis
that you and several others here have made that the Federal
Government's interest in protection and management of
endangered species involves not only just passing legislation
to mandate the protection, but participating in that
protection, because it becomes a Federal issue simply because
of the costs that are imposed as a result of the Endangered
Species Act, itself. That's a big issue that we are facing over
in my part of the country with regard to the salmon and
steelhead, as well. I have been saying the same thing for a
long time. I'm glad to see the same issue in the context that
you have here.
I was also interested, Mr. McColly, in your testimony,
because you pointed out something to me that may be understood
but not recognized, which is that the changes in the management
of the flows of the rivers that are mandated under the
Endangered Species Act have, on occasion, caused the loss of
power production, and that loss of power production, again, is
a cost that we made, as a society, to achieve these purposes of
the Endangered Species Act. It is, nonetheless, a cost that is
imposed, in this case, on the customers of Valley County
Electric Cooperative as a result of the efforts to protect and
strengthen these species.
It is very appropriate to do that, but it is also
appropriate that we recognize that and recognize the fact that
that cost is being born to pay for a Federal statutory mandate
by the people of those communities, and one more reason for the
justification of Federal involvement in putting together
support for this facility so we can have Federal support for
some of the management costs that are required in achieving
these objectives. So I think that it was interesting to see
both sides of that coming out.
The last thing I will say, Mr. Seilstad, I don't have an
actual question for you, just a comment. When you talked about
the kids with the grin on their face when they catch their
first walleye, well, I haven't had that grin yet.
Senator Crapo. Senator Burns, we've got to talk about this
once we get back there.
Senator Burns, did you have anything to say?
One other comment I do want to say, as we are just about
ready to wrap up, is related to--we are virtually on time. This
is a great community.
Senator Burns. We never get done. This is the only place
where you can be 15 minutes late and 30 minutes early all at
the same time.
Curtis Swanson is also here from Congressman Hill's office
today. I saw him a while ago and spoke to him. I failed to
This is a delegation project, and we want to keep it that
way if we possibly can to make sure it moves forward.
I just want to say to the folks at Walleye Unlimited,
nothing like this ever happens without somebody burning a lot
of rubber off their tires and spending a lot of hours. All of
this works together. You've got to pick up and do some things
to make it work, and I want to thank you for that, all of you,
because we know it is a labor of love and we don't get paid a
lot for it. I guarantee you that. I guess it is in the smile of
This is the only society in the world, folks, that we live
today so that our kids will have a better tomorrow. All of us
do that. It's in the history of this country. That's what built
the country. All of us sitting here today for this fish
hatchery cannot expect a lot of benefits in our lifetime, but
think of the effect it will have for this community and the
next generation and the next generation of Americans that come
up to follow us. That's what this is all about. It's not about
us. After all, I'm getting to the point where I'm just circling
Senator Burns. I just look around this crowd and we all do
it for the next generation, because that's very, very important
and that is the American way.
Thank you for coming today. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. We
welcome you to Valley County, Montana.
Senator Crapo. Thank you, Senator.
Senator Burns always brings us that down-home humor back in
Washington. We look forward to it.
He reminds me of another joke I heard, when you talk about
Washington being one of the places where you can be 15 minutes
late and still 30 minutes early to a meeting. I heard it also
said that Washington is probably the only city in the country
where you can drive from one side of the town to the other side
of the town and never leave the scene of the crime.
[Laughter and applause.]
Senator Crapo. Let me also, before we close this hearing,
tell you all, again, thank you very much for the warm welcome
you have provided to me and to our committee.
Senator Burns. If you have a statement that you want to
leave with the committee, you may do that today. If you have
prepared a statement, we're prepared to take them and they will
be made a part of the record.
Senator Crapo. That's right. And if you are not prepared
today, we will leave the record open for several weeks, so you
can get hold of Senator Burns' office and get your testimony to
us through him if you aren't able to do it today, and we
welcome you to do that.
Once again, thank you for your tremendous Montana
hospitality, for the interest that you have shown here today in
this legislation, and I can tell you, as I did at the beginning
of the hearing, you've made a convert out of me and I will go
back and advocate this project very strongly with the chairman.
Thank you very much. This committee is hereby adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:05 p.m., the subcommittee was adjourned,
to reconvene at the call of the Chair.]
[Additional statements submitted for the record follow:]
Statement of Hon. Sam Kitzenberg, State Representative from Glasgow, MT
Mr. Chairman, members of the committee: For the record, my name is
State Representative Sam Kitzenberg from HD-96, which includes parts of
Valleys County and all of Daniels Counter. I have served three terms in
the Montana Legislature. During the last session--the 56th--I
introduced HB 20 (the Fish Hatchery Bill) on the first day of the
session. It passed the last day of the session.
Fort Peck Lake is the largest body of water in Montana--and one of
the last developed! It is 134 miles long and has an area of
approximately 249,00 acres, which is more than the Pacific Coast of
California. The potential for fisheries here is almost unlimited.
Fort Peck is the 4th largest tourist stop in the State of Montana.
Tourism is Montana's second largest industry. In 1996, visitors spent
an estimated $1.26 billion. More than 60,000 jobs are directly related
to travel and they account for $763 million in payroll.
On a regional level, we hosted the In-Fisherman Professional
Walleye tournament at Fort Peck Lake in 1997 and 1993. What did that
mean to Montana's economy? The total economic benefit was $1.4 million.
In 1995, 7 tournaments were held on Montana waters. These tournament
participants spent $1.9 million in one summer.
A study released by the American Sportfishing Association stated
that the total economic impact of angler expenditures in Montana was
$450 million in 1996.
Salmon Fishing--which extends the fishing season into the fall--
brought $2,362,500 into our community in 1996 (peak year).
Studies have shown that money is spent 7 times before leaving a
community. This would equal $16,537,500 alone from salmon fishing in
the Glasgow area.
Here are some legislative reflections:
``MIRACLES COME AFTER A LOT OF HARD WORK.''--reads a Key Club
banner at Glasgow High School.
Yet, passing HB 20 through the 56th Legislative session of the
Montana Legislature was a miracle. (Praise the Lord!)
And, it took a lot of hard work by many individuals.
I still remember the day that Chuck Lawson told me at Sagebrush
Cellular that he had a great idea for a bill, and I asked him if he was
serious about it. I remember flying to Billings with him and Roy Snyder
to talk to the Walleyes Club about their support. Before take-off, he
said, ``If you are shy about flying, you can sit in the front seat so
you don't throw up on us.''
``Chuck, I'm not fearful of flying. I just don't want to hit a deer
on the runway on take-off.''
``Sit down and shut up or I'm going to put a bag over your head,''
And, off we flew . . . to many Walleyes Meetings in Eastern
Montana. Most of the time, we drove . . . getting home late . . . or
early in the morning.
Myron Gartner was along, too, tirelessly contracting and erecting
over 80 signs--sometimes at a cost of $140 each--throughout Eastern
Fort Peck Lake Manager, Roy Snyder, our facilitator, came along
too--offering sound advice, hope--and free land for the rearing ponds.
Then, the Legislative battle began . . . with 50,000 copies of
literature, phone calls, letters, etc. In fact, one of the top five
issues that legislators received more mail and call about was the fish
I remember thinking going into the first committee hearing of the
House Fish Wildlife & Parks Committee hearing in the House that we were
(maybe) . . . two votes shy of passage. (It could have ended that day!)
But, the bill swayed in the wind like a giant Ponderosa Pine deciding
which way to fall after being cut . . . and passed out of committee!
I remember the day I carried the bill on the floor of the House. I
wore ``my lucky fish hat.'' After 2-hours of debate, my soaked dress
shirt . . . the bill sailed on . . . .
``Will you need the large Senate hearing room?'' the chairman of
the Senate Fish and Game Committee asked me. ``I hear there are a lot
of people coming,'' he added. It was a ``packed house'' in room 345
(the old Supreme Court room) when the bus from Glasgow showed up after
an exasperating bus trip--a 23-hour trip, with 19 spent on the Scotty
Finally . . . the bill took flight Senate and flew through the
Opposition began to dissipate--especially after one fellow from the
Mile High Fishing Club in Butte got up and said: ``You Canadians out
there in Eastern Montana . . . .'' (He got a round of laughter and a
The same cooperative spirit that built Fort Peck Dam in the 1930's
came alive again in Eastern Montana to pass HB 20 through the Montana
Lewis and Clark (Chuck and Myron) braved uncharted territory
through Montana again to find ``a better world''--a path through the
Wilderness of Economic Depression.
Congress may choose to do nothing . . . to take lightly our efforts
. . . to never allow the Fish Hatchery ``to hatch.''
But . . . a better path would be to follow in our footsteps toward
a better tomorrow.
Glasgow MT Proclamation
fort peck hatchery day--april 29, 2000
Whereas, Saturday, April 29, 2000, from 10:00-11:30 a.m., has been
proclaimed as Fort Peck Hatchery Day.
Whereas, a Senate subcommittee will hold a field hearing in Glasgow
at the Cottonwood Inn, chaired by Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho),
chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Drinking
Whereas, donations from various organizations total nearly $64,000
with a goal of $125,000, and the money will be matched with Federal
dollars to complete the study required to get the next step for funding
the new hatchery,
Whereas, Senator Conrad Burns has introduced a bill to the Senate
authorizing $10 million for the construction of the Hatchery and as the
Fort Peck hatchery will contribute to increased recreation in eastern
Montana and improve the strength of fish population in Montana's rivers
Now, Therefore, I, Wilmer F. Zeller, by virtue of the authority
vested in me as Mayor of the City of Glasgow, do hereby proclaim
Saturday, April 29, 2000, as Fort Peck Fish Hatchery Day throughout the
City of Glasgow,
In Witness Thereof, I do hereby set my hand and cause the Corporate
Seal of the City of Glasgow to be affixed this 26th day of April 2000.
Mayor Wilmer F. Zeller.
[From the Good Evening Glasgow, Monday, January 11, 1999]
Eastern Montana agrees: It's a No-Brainer
While efforts to gain support for the proposed warm-water multi-
species fish hatchery at Fort Peck have been going on for several
months, HB 20 and HB 26. introduced by Representative Sam Kitzenberg
are now on the grinding stone in Helena.
It is now up to the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee to
pass it into Congress, which could happen possibly tomorrow.
Proponents that spoke of the fish hatchery were mostly from eastern
Montana, but there was western support there as well. Opponents were
few, but it was rather obvious to those present Thursday that Pat
Graham, Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks was not in support
of the fish hatchery, although he was to speak as a ``noponent'' (not
taking sides). Other opponents included Trout Unlimited.
Those opposing the fish hatchery's main concern was money: where
would it come from?
Bruce Farling, Director of Trout Unlimited, spoke against the
The Need for a Warm-Water Fish Hatchery
The clay bottom and the rise and fall of water levels at Fort Peck
Reservoir are the worst climate for the natural spawn of warm-water
species of fish.
The Miles City Hatchery, although state-of-the-art, is not capable
of rearing enough fish to supply ail of the reservoirs and rivers in
the state that are stocked with warm-water fish. In addition, the Miles
City Hatchery is the only hatchery in the state that raises the warm-
water species, learning no backup f screeching were to happen at that
Sauger, a native warm-water species found in the Missouri and
Yellowstone River systems, are down in number and, at present, there is
no source of artificial reproduction available. The proposed Fort Peck
Multi-Species Fish Hatchery could and most probably would provide this
much-needed facility. If sauger are listed as endangered, we will all
wish we had done something differently.
Fishing pressure in the state of Montana has risen 60 percent in
the last few years, both from out of state and locally The hatchery
system, however, has not been increased and has not fulfilled the needs
of state biologists in their stocking work. Montana has the lowest
plant of fingerling fish of the Missouri chain of reservoirs;
fingerlings have the best rate of survival among fish hatchery groups.
Because the Department of FWP doesn't have the rearing space, it plants
25 to 30 million fry which have a very low survival rate.
Along with the 60 percent increase in fishing pressure to the state
comes economic growth. The tourist industry in the state if very good
when fishermen are catching fish. The funding that we get from this
source helps to pay for better facilities through the Fish and Game
Department. It also brings another source of revenue for the State of
In the past, most of the funding for fish hatcheries has gone to
the cold water or ``Trout'' end of things. At the present time, these
hatcheries are getting funding for seven locations. This is all and
well except that one-half of the water in the state is warm-water
The population of Chinook Salmon has been anything but stable in
the last few years. It is the hope of Montana sportsmen and women that
this hatchery would provide a positive alternative to what we have seen
in the past. If egg-taking can be accomplished, we can raise these fish
here rather than going to other states for them, thus lowering the risk
of disease to Montana waters.
We need to find another egg source for walleye eggs as all of the
states' eggs are taken from the Nelson Creek spawning station. If this
source became contaminated or the weather interrupted the spawning
cycle, we could lose a whole year's class of fish.
We need to establish a viable bait-fish population. At the present
time, there are no bait-fish being raised at Miles City and there isn't
any room to raise them. Many of our warm-water lakes need to establish
a bait-fish population. The new hatchery will help that need.
We have a catch-rate on Fort Peck Lake of .26 fish per hour. That
is the lowest catch-rate of any of the mainstream reservoirs. This
equates to two fish in an 8-hour angling day.
We need to have more vision that the Warm-Water Management Plan has
given us. We need to sell the $5.00 Warm-Water Stamp so we can: 1. Fund
the new hatchery at Fort Peck, 2. Pay the operations maintenance and
FTE's of this hatchery, and 3. Help to set up a Future Warm-Water
Fishing Fund, if any moneys are left over.
To sum up why we need a warm-water hatchery at Fort Peck, it is for
the future. If we do not take care of our fishing now, it could very
well be that future generations will have nothing but pictures and a
bunch of dusty stuffed fish to show them what used to be!
Statement of Hon. Eleanor Pratt, Chairman, Valley County Board of
For the record, my name is Eleanor Pratt, Chairman of the Valley
County Board of Commissioners. I extend a cordial welcome to you,
Senator Crapo, and the committee and a thank you to Senator Burns for
sponsoring this meeting.
Mr. Chairman, I feel the most important message that I can convey
to you is that our entire community is in favor of the Fort Peck Fish
Hatchery. Since it was first proposed in 1997, people from throughout
the community and many from across the state, from all walks of life,
have jumped on the bandwagon to promote this new fish hatchery. They
have contributed money, written letters of support and traveled to
meetings, all of which adds up to countless hours of time and all at
their own expense.
The economic base for this area is farming, ranching and tourism.
The fish produced should be compared to a commodity like that of grain
and cattle. Therefore, having a fish hatchery at the Fort Peck
Reservoir makes ``good'' economic sense because it would be an
environmentally sound resource for this county, as well as the State of
Montana. This part of Montana is known as Missouri River Country, and
the tour guide brochures promote fishing at the Fort Peck Lake.
The Fort Peck Reservoir is the Riviera of Northeast Montana--a
diamond in the rough--the potential of which, some 66 years after its
construction, has still not been realized. Those who appropriated the
funds to build the reservoir had no vision of how time would change the
lifestyles of Americans. Travel in the 1930's was limited to the
wealthy. Today, travel is for the majority of Americans--young and old.
Fishing is ``big business' and fisherman dollars are ``good for the
economics'' of Valley County and all other counties bordering the
The need for economic help, better described as survival, for
Valley County and the other rural counties with access to the Reservoir
is stated by listing their annual per capita income*:
Valley County...................... $18,999
To further emphasize the severe economic concerns of Montanans,
Governor Racicot has called for a Special Legislative Session to begin
on May 8th to specifically address economic development.
Good, productive land was taken for the Reservoir, and the taxes
that had been paid to the county were lost forever.
In summary, Mr. Chairman, we need your help, and that of your
committee, to make the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery a reality. The support
for the project is overwhelming--it is a cooperative effort--local,
state and Federal. The fish hatchery is important for the counties with
access to the Reservoir and for the entire State of Montana.
Thank you for allowing me time today to testify before your
Subcommittee in SUPPORT for the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery Authorization
Act of 2000.
Statement of Colonel Mark E. Tillotson, District Engineer, Omaha
District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army
Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I am Colonel Mark E.
Tillotson, District Engineer, Omaha District, U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers. With me today are Debra Brey, the Planning Assistance to
States Program Manager for the Omaha District and two other Corps
district individuals who were instrumental in completing this study--
Ted Streckfuss and Randy Sellers. Thank you for this opportunity to
present a statement on the findings of our study of a proposed fish
hatchery at Fort Peck, which we conducted for the State of Montana
under our Planning Assistance to States (PAS) Program, authorized by
Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974, as amended.
I understand that the Administration is developing a position on S.
2027, the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery Authorization Act of 2000, which
would authorize Federal construction and cost-sharing of the hatchery.
Fort Peck Hatchery Section 22 Study
From December 1999 through March 2000, at the request of the State
of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks and local interests,
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducted a reconnaissance-level study
of and prepared a conceptual design plan for a proposed multi-species
fish hatchery at Fort Peck, Montana under the Section 22 authority. For
the study, the hatchery was sited on a 94-acre parcel of land
downstream from Fort Peck Dam. In general, the study discussed (l) the
need for and impacts of having a second warm-water fish hatchery in
Montana; (2) the types and production numbers of fish proposed for
propagation at the facility; (3) opportunities for raising endangered
species, such as the pallid sturgeon; (4) a preliminary design and cost
estimate for construction and operation and maintenance of a fish
hatchery; (5) the availability of Corps land for the project; and (6)
the availability of high-quality water and affordable power to operate
Through a collaborative effort, the Corps of Engineers and the
Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parls determined that a facility
consisting of 54 rearing ponds (having a total of 49 surface acres of
water and a hatchery building approximately 22,000 square feet in size
could be accommodated on the proposed site. This facility would provide
a reliable and cost-effective means of producing the desired fish
species to meet the needs of the State of Montana including walleye,
sauger, tiger muskie, northern pike, chinook salmon, largemouth bass,
smallmouth bass, and catfish. The hatchery would also support the
propagation of the endangered pallid sturgeon.
The study was completed on schedule. A summary report of the basic
study findings was provided to the study sponsor in mid-March 2000, and
the main report was provided at the end of March 2000. Total study
costs were $250,000, with the State and the Corps each providing
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. We would be happy to
answer any questions you may have. Thank you again for the opportunity
to participate in this Senate Subcommittee hearing. We have enjoyed
working with the State of Montana on this study.
Fort Peck Fish Hatchery Proposal
prepared by the u.s. army corps of engineers
Chapter 1: General Project Information
Within northeastern Montana, the Missouri River and Fort Peck Lake
provide a high-quality water source suitable for the development of a
fish hatchery. Increased fishing pressure on Fort Peck Lake and
throughout the State has led to the need for a multi-species fish
hatchery capable of meeting the State's existing and future fish
production goals. The limited number of cool- and warm-water hatcheries
in the State makes the construction of this hatchery especially
critical. Hatchery fish will be used to stock Fort Peck Lake and other
Montana fisheries, as necessary, to help the State of Montana remain
self-sufficient in maintaining and managing its fishery resources.
The primary goal of the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery will be to supply
large numbers of high-quality fish for the sport fisheries in the
State. It could also allow Montana to focus on using the new hatchery's
state-of-the-art capabilities for production of the endangered pallid
sturgeon as well as other State and Federal species of concern. For
existing State and Federal facilities to match these capabilities,
potentially time-consuming and expensive upgrades would be necessary.
The construction of the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery could fill an existing
void in the recovery effort for this fish as well as other species of
At this time, Montana's fish production needs are addressed through
the operation of nine hatcheries scattered throughout the State. Of the
nine hatcheries in use, eight are devoted to cold-water production
(trout and salmonid). The ninth hatchery, located at Miles City,
struggles to meet the State's needs for cool- and warm-water fish
production. The existing State hatchery facilities can only maintain
the current levels of production and are unable to meet the existing
and future demand. An additional hatchery is needed to address the
expected fish production shortfalls caused by future increases in
fishing demands in Montana. This need leads to the requirement for
supplemental fish production facilities that the proposed hatchery at
Fort Peck will meet.
This summary report provides some of the major highlights of the
much larger main study entitled ``Final Report--Preliminary Design
Study and Environmental Assessment: Proposed Fish Hatchery at Fort
Peck, Montana,'' which was released at the end of March 20
1.2 Study Authority
This study was initiated under the Corps of Engineers' Planning
Assistance to States (Section 22) Program in response to a request from
the State of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. The State
requested that the Corps of Engineers evaluate the feasibility of
developing a fish hatchery at Fort Peck and, if feasible, prepare a
reconnaissance-level design of such a facility. Authority for
conducting this study is contained in Section 22 of the Water Resources
Development Act of 1974, as amended. The study was cost-shared, with
the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks providing 50
percent of the study cost.
1.3 Fish Production Needs
The new fish hatchery described in this report is intended to
bridge the required production deficit. This hatchery will provide a
reliable and cost-effective means of producing the desired high-quality
fish species necessary to stock Montana's fisheries, including Fort
Peck Lake. This hatchery will be used to culture cold-, cool-, and
warmwater fish species, with the potential to address needs relative to
endangered species such as the pallid sturgeon and other species of
concern. Fish production at the new Fort Peck Fish Hatchery will
emphasize the propagation and rearing of walleye (Stizostedion
vitrium), sauger (Stizostedion canadense), tiger muskie (Esox
masquinongy x Esox lucious), northern pike (Esox lucious), chinook
salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), largemouth bass (Micropterus
salmoides), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui), pallid sturgeon
(Scaphirhynchus albus), and, possibly, channel catfish (Ictalurus
punctatus), should the need arise. Species of special concern could
include the blue sucker, short-nose gar,and the sicklefin chub. These
fish species will be spawned and reared to various sizes, including
fry, fingerlings, and catchables, according to the needs of the State
A location map showing Fort Peck Lake is depicted on Plate 1 at the
back of this summary report. The actual location of the Fort Peck Fish
Hatchery will be adjacent to the Missouri River, downstream from Fort
Peck Dam, on a 94-acre parcel owned by the Corps. The hatchery location
is illustrated on Plate 2.
1.4 Hatchery Facilities
Rearing facilities at the hatchery will include 49 surface acres of
various sized ponds for extensive and semi-intensive culturing. The
proposed pond configuration is based on two 2-acre ponds, 38 1-acre
ponds, and 14 0.5-acre ponds, for a total of 54 rearing ponds. The
ponds will be lined with high-density polyethylene to facilitate and
enhance the pond performance. The ponds will be equipped with external
catch basins (kettles) for efficient fish harvesting. The rearing
facilities are currently configured for no more than six ponds per
kettle. A two-cell, 3.9-acre effluent pond will be constructed to
collect all water used at the hatchery prior to discharge back into the
Missouri River. This effluent pond will allow for the settling and
removal of suspended solids. Intensive fish rearing will be
accomplished through the use of eight raceways plumbed to receive
either well or surface water supplies. The raceway dimensions will be
60 feet long by 6 feet wide, with a water depth of 3 feet.
The hatchery building will have nearly 22,000 square feet of floor
space, of which over 17,500 square feet will be designated as the fish
production area. The production area will include a pathology
laboratory for fish examination and measurements, a feed laboratory for
limited feed formulation and storage, and incubation and rearing areas.
Crew quarters, of rices, and limited tourist facilities will occupy the
remainder of the floor area.
Chapter 2: Fish Production and Processes
Fish production requirements for the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery were
determined based on extensive input provided by the State of Montana
Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Montana fish production needs
were discussed with regard to the site and water supply considerations
as well as to the economic constraints.
Table 2.1 lists the species, quantities, and sizes of fish to be
produced at the hatchery. This information provides the basis for the
facility predesign. As a result of the need for flexibility, the
initial production program was designed to utilize both intensive and
extensive culture practices, taking advantage of both the site area and
the available water supply.
Recommended Plan--Production Goals
Species Quantity Size and Description Date
Walleye........................................ 50,000,000 Fry................................... 4/25
Walleye........................................ 2,500,000 2'' + fingerlings..................... 6/30
Sauger......................................... 2,500,000 Fry................................... 5/25
Pallid sturgeon................................ Unknown Unknown............................... TBD
Tiger Muskie................................... 5,000 6'' + fingerlings..................... 8/25
Tiger Muskie................................... 50,000 2'' + fingerlings..................... 7/15
Northern pike.................................. 150,000 Fry................................... 4/30
Chinook salmon................................. 500,000 3'' + fingerlings..................... 4/15
Largemouth bass................................ 70,000 2'' + fingerlings..................... 9/15
Largemouth bass................................ 10,000 6'' + fingerlings..................... 10/30
Smallmouth bass................................ 25,000 5'' + fingerlings..................... 10/30
Channel Catfish*............................... 40,000 8'' + fingerlings..................... 10/30
* Considered for inclusion on available basis and State programmatic needs.
Chapter 3: Site Planning and Existing Conditions
3.1 Water Supply
Operation of the fish hatchery will entail the use of large volumes
of water; however, actual water consumption will be low since the
hatchery is designed to operate in a flow-through mode. During several
months of operation, a net surplus of water will be discharged to the
river because of the use of groundwater in hatchery operations. The
only water consumed as a result of hatchery operation can be attributed
to evaporation from the rearing ponds. The primary water source for
hatchery operations will be derived from the surface water adjacent to
the project site. An alternate water supply from groundwater extraction
wells will also be incorporated into the facility design. The process
water for the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery will be supplied through four
1,500-gallon-per-minute (gpm) capacity wells located on the northern
edge of the project site and also through a 5,000 8pm pumping system
located in the dredge cut area.
3.2 Surface Water Quality
Data from water samples collected downstream from the powerhouse at
Fort Peck Dam are representative of the water quality to be used in the
hatchery. The results of analytical testing indicate that the surface
water source has no deleterious materials that would adversely impact
the operation of the fish hatchery and that the source, overall, is of
3.3 Groundwater Quality
Following completion of a well-capacity test, water samples must be
taken and analyzed to determine the quality of the groundwater adjacent
to the proposed hatchery area. It is hoped that the groundwater within
the saturated alluvium will be available in sufficient quantity and be
of adequate quality to serve as an additional source to support
Chapter 4: Conceptual Design
Plates 2 and 3 provide a conceptual site layout of the proposed
hatchery development. The hatchery buildings, raceways, and
outbuildings are located along the easternmost portion of the site,
adjacent to State Highway 117. The ponds occupy the gently sloping land
to the west of the hatchery structure. The site is bounded to the south
by a gravel road and to the north by the Missouri River dredge cut
area. Private property is located to the west and north of the site.
Access to the site will be via State Highway 117 and the gravel road,
both of which lie juxtapositional to the site boundary.
4.2.1 Orientation and Layout
The Fort Peck Fish Hatchery will include 49 acres of ponds, the
majority of which will be 1 surface acre in size. Three standard sizes
of ponds will be included at the facility: two 2-acre cells, 38 1-acre
cells, and 14 0.5-acre cells. Plate 2 shows the proposed configuration
of the 54 rearing ponds.
4.2.2 Kettle Type and Location
All ponds will be outfitted with external catch basins (kettles)
for fish harvesting. It is anticipated that one kettle will service no
more than six ponds. This configuration will require a total of 10
kettles to adequately drain the ponds for fish harvesting activities.
The chimney-type drainage structure on the ponds will consist of a
concrete structure and slide gate located in the lowest portion of the
pond floor. A ramp will provide access to the pond outlet control
structure for controlling pond operations during harvest.
Eight paired concrete raceways will be provided for use in the
intensive culturing of salmonidspecies, although walleye, tiger muskie,
northern pike, and channel catfish have been successfully reared within
this environment. Raceways will also be used, as needed, for the
overwintering of largemouth and smallmouth bass brood stock. The
projected dimensions for the raceways are 60 feet long by 6 feet wide,
with a maximum water depth of 3 feet.
4.4 Hatchery Building
The hatchery building is shown on Plates 4 and 5. The hatchery will
be constructed using a cast-in-place concrete slab with masonry (CMU
and brick) walls and a truss-supported roof. The building floor plan is
shown on Plate 4. The total building area is projected to be 21,949
square feet and will consist of several different operating areas. Both
the administrative and wet laboratory areas will be heated. The
hatchery building will conform with the American Disabilities Act (ADA)
and National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) Life Safety requirements.
Public viewing indoors will be possible at a window separating the
wet laboratory from the lobby and visitors' area, while outdoor
activities can be observed through a window overlooking the pond and
raceway complex. The hatchery area will include four offices, sleeping
areas, a general crew conference area, a break room with kitchen/dining
facilities, and public restrooms.
Area Layout for Hatchery Building
Fort Peck Fish Hatchery
------------------------------------------------------------ Net Square
WET LABORATORY AREA:
Garage and Storage area...... Mechanical Room......... 17,584
Chemical and Equipment Room.. Pathology Room..........
Feed Laboratory Room......... Isolation Room..........
ADMINISTRATION AND VISITOR AREA:
Mud Room..................... Conference Room......... 1,855
Waiting and Observation Room. Office Nos. 1, 2, 3.....
Public restrooms............. Storage area............
Office/Female Sleeping Room.. Toilet.................. 2,026
3 Crew Sleeping Rooms........ Break Room..............
Crew Shower Room............. Kitchen.................
MECHANICAL AND ELECTRICAL ROOMS.. 484
Chapter 5: Facility Costs
5.1 Project Cost Summary
A summary of major construction category costs and an estimate of
total project costs are shown in Table 5.1. A supplemental paragraph
was added to this chapter to document the costs associated with the
construction of similarly sized hatchery complexes located within the
Midwest. Although the examples noted in the discussion are not exact
duplicates of the proposed Fort Peck Fish Hatchery, they are similar in
nature and serve to provide a ``proof-of-concept'' for the cost figures
that were developed in this report.
Construction Cost Summary
Fort Peck Fish Hatchery
Item Description Cost
Fish Hatchery Building............................... $3,691,888
Hatchery Building Equipment.......................... 1,444,300
Hatchery Building Drive and Apron.................... 175,334
Rearing Ponds........................................ 7,304,348
Raceways and Canopy.................................. 683,235
Site Work and Roads.................................. 209,791
Water Supply (Wells, Lake Intake, and Piping)........ 1,364,883
Site Electrical...................................... 358,169
Support Facilities................................... 405,000
Total Year 2000 Construction..................... $16,241,448
Planning, Engineering and Design..................... 1,507,567
Construction Management.............................. 1,005,046
Total 2000 Project Cost.......................... $18,754,061
5.2 Annual Operation and Maintenance Costs
The annual operation and maintenance costs are based on those
expenses attributable to electrical consumption, natural gas usage,
feed, laboratory supplies, facility labor, and ancillary support
equipment. Table 5.2 contains a brief summary of estimated annual
operating expenses for the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery. Feed costs are
dependent on the specific production program followed. The cost of feed
was based on a per-pound cost of $0.38 for salmonid feed and $100 per
ton for pelletized alfalfa. Labor costs include wages and the standard
breakdown for benefits and taxes. Four full-time positions were assumed
for operation of the hatchery.
Annual Operation and Maintenance Costs
Fort Peck Fish Hatchery
Personnel Salaries...................................... $125,000
Hourly Wages............................................ 35,000
Consulting Services..................................... 5,000
Lab Equipment, Supplies, and Administrative Materials... 15,000
Egg, Fry, and Fingerling Procurement.................... 15,000
Hatchery Equipment / Motor Vehicles..................... 10,000
Travel / Per Diem....................................... 2,500
Building and Grounds Maintenance........................ 20,000
Natural Gas............................................. 70,250
Electrical Service...................................... 31,250
5.3 Comparable Hatchery Cost Information
This section was provided to document the costs associated with the
construction of comparably sized hatchery complexes located within the
Midwest. The two examples cited within this section are located in
North Dakota and Missouri.
The Garrison National Fish Hatchery is located in North Dakota
adjacent to Lake Sakakawea. Rob Holm (701-654-7451) provided
information relative to the construction history and costs associated
with facility renovations over the years. Mr. Holm indicated that the
facility was constructed in 1962-1963, with a significant upgrade added
in 19841985. The facility is capable of producing cold-, cool-, and
warm-water fish species and also has raceways in addition to rearing
ponds for facility flexibility. Approximately 64 ponds and 12 60-foot
by 6-foot raceways and an unknown number of 80-foot by 8-foot raceways
are present at the site. The facility was appraised to determine its
total replacement value, and the cost of facility replacement was found
to be $22 million. This value exceeds the total project cost estimated
for the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery by $2.2 million, although it should be
noted that the hatchery facilities are not identical in nature.
The Lost Valley Fish Hatchery located in Warsaw, Missouri, adjacent
to Truman Lake provides the most recent example of a newly constructed
hatchery similar to the hatchery proposed for the Fort Peck site. Steve
Eder of the Missouri Department of Conservation indicated that
construction of this hatchery was completed in March 2000 and consists
of a 29,000-square-foot hatchery complex, an administration area, and a
visitors center, along with 68 acres of lined ponds (78 total) and 7
water supply wells. The construction cost for this facility exceeded
$18.9 million. Applying the standard 9 percent value for Engineering
and Design, in conjunction with 6 percent for Construction Oversite and
Administration during the construction phase, leads to a total facility
cost of $21.8 million. This facility, while larger than the proposed
Fort Peck facility, is similar in complexity and overall production
capabilities. The project costs are supportive of the cost projections
developed in this study.
The preceding paragraphs were provided to support the estimated
project costs developed for this document. It is felt that the
engineering, design, and construction costs of the project outlined in
this predesign document fall within the range expected for a facility
of this magnitude. Until predesign and design activities are
undertaken, which will allow for further fine-tuning of these project
costs, the $19.8 million cost proposed for the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery
is felt to accurately reflect the costs associated with the
construction of a state-of-the-art fish hatchery. Construction of this
fish hatchery will provide a complex capable of meeting the fishery
needs of the State of Montana well into the future.
Statement of Patrick J. Graham, Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife and
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Committee. My name is Pat Graham,
Director of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the
agency in the great state of Montana which has responsibility for the
management of our fish and wildlife resources and many recreational
opportunities. I am here today to testify in support of the multi-
species fish hatchery proposed to be built below Fort Peck Dam in
Senate Bill 2027. In 2001 Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will observe
our 100th Anniversary. We will celebrate a century of successful
conservation efforts during which we helped restore fish and wildlife
populations from the historic lows at the turn of the century to the
general abundance we have today.
The challenges for the next century may prove to be just as
daunting. The demand for opportunities to fish, hunt and otherwise
interact with wildlife are growing as are the costs of conserving
habitat, providing access and addressing the needs of federally listed
species. Our financial resources are stretched to the limit.
The growing demand for warmwater fishing on Fort Peck Reservoir
combined with addressing the needs of listed species and species of
concern, like pallid sturgeon and sauger, are indicative of the issues
we face. Fort Peck Reservoir, the state's largest water body, provides
important warmwater fisheries for walleye, sauger, northern pike, and
smallmouth bass, as well as for chinook salmon and lake trout. Fort
Peck is also home to prehistoric paddlefish. While this species of
special concern is abundant in Fort Peck and the Yellowstone River, its
very limited distribution in the remainder of its historic range once
prompted an ESA listing petition.
The angling use on Fort Peck is increasing steadily. Prior to
becoming Director of this agency, I was the Chief of the Fisheries
Division. In 1985, I completed the first warmwater fisheries management
plan for Montana. Since completion of that plan, the fishing use on
Fort Peck Reservoir has tripled (Attachment 1). You can see by the
testimony before you today and the interest in this project that
angling is an important component of this area's economic base.
Fort Peck Reservoir has never been an easy reservoir to manage for
fisheries. Water level fluctuations, particularly during drought years,
coupled with the need to provide navigation water downstream, has made
managing the reservoir for spawning and rearing very difficult. The
primary substrate in Fort Peck, bearpaw shale, is unsuitable for
walleye spawning. To provide a sport fishery we must annually stock
large numbers of walleye into the reservoir (Attachment 2).
Montana has long carried the financial burden of managing this
fishery, stocking a variety of species into Fort Peck Reservoir since
1942 (Attachment 3). In the early years, the state lacked the
capability to produce large enough numbers of warmwater species to
support or sustain a viable sport fishery. In 1983, the state acquired
the Federal Miles City Warmwater Fish Hatchery from the U. S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. The facility was falling apart, however, it provided
the opportunity to establish one cornerstone of our warmwater fish
program. In 1985, the Department began renovation of the Miles City
Hatchery and over a period of 14 years we invested more than 6.5
million dollars to renovate that facility and bring it to full capacity
(Attachment 4). Today, 75 percent of the production of the Miles City
Hatchery goes to stock a single reservoir--Fort Peck Reservoir. While
Fort Peck could utilize even more walleye, the rest of the state does
not have its needs met. Nor is there the capacity to meet future
warmwater fishing needs. Fort Peck will require additional fish to
enhance the walleye, sauger, and chinook fisheries.
The sauger, a native cousin to the walleye living primarily in free
flowing rivers, has shown significant declines in the Missouri as well
as in the Yellowstone river systems. It is a species of special
concern. and aggressive management efforts are needed to keep the
sauger off of the endangered species list. We are looking at enhancing
sauger populations in a variety of ways including increased hatchery
capacity for sauger to supplement natural populations. We currently
have no capacity at our Miles City Hatchery to raise sauger.
The pallid sturgeon, a federally endangered species, is found in
the Missouri River above and below Fort Peck. They are in a precarious
situation resulting from unsuccessful reproduction for the last 55
years. The construction of the Missouri River dams and resulting
reservoirs, including Fort Peck, are believed to be directly
responsible for the plight of the pallid sturgeon. This hatchery would
also give us the capability to raise pallid sturgeon to supplement the
existing population and prevent extinction. The Miles City Hatchery is
not equipped to propagate pallid sturgeon.
When the Montana Legislature last met in 1999, they were made aware
of the need to construct a multi-species hatchery at Fort Peck. HB 20
was passed, authorizing the construction of the Fort Peck Hatchery and
established a warrnwater fisheries stamp to assist in funding this
project (Attachment 5). During the debates recognition of the need for
an additional hatchery was tempered with a strong feeling that the
hatchery was a Federal responsibility.
Montana concluded it was a Federal responsibility in part due to
unfilled promises related to Pick--Sloane legislation. The Fort Peck
project was integrated into Pick-Sloane Federal legislation with other
Federal water projects (Clark Canyon, Canyon Ferry, Yellowtail, and
Tiber dams) in Montana. Pick-Sloane was to provide Montana with low
cost power, irrigation, recreation, and fish and wildlife enhancement,
all intended to provide economic development to offset impacts from
these Federal water projects. To date there have been few projects
developed under the obligations identified in Pick-Sloane. Montana has
seen the development of irrigation systems equivalent to only 5.75
percent of that obligation and only 6.5 percent of the power allocated
for pump irrigation (Toston, Lower Yellowstone, Savage, and Intake).
Agricultural land development (800,000 acres) and the economic benefit
for Montana that should have occurred with those irrigation projects
identified under Pick-Sloane have never been realized. The little
development that occurred (46,000 acres) was centered around Canyon
Ferry Reservoir, Clark Canyon Reservoir, and along the lower
Yellowstone. Therefore, Federal obligations under Pick-Sloane have
never been fulfilled in Northeastern Montana or anywhere else in
The use of water for and the recreational benefit derived from fish
produced in a Fort Peck Hatchery would meet the criteria identified in
Pick-Sloane. A hatchery at Fort Peck would result in economic
development in eastern Montana based on increased recreational
opportunity and enhanced fisheries in Fort Peck Reservoir.
Both the Pick-Sloane and the ``Federal Project Recreation Act''
provide the rationale for the State of Montana to request Federal
funding for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of a
multi-species hatchery at Fort Peck (Attachment 6).
Montana also believes that we have contributed fairly to
recreational fish and wildlife management and development that have
benefited Fort Peck over the past 53 years. Senate Bill 2027 recognizes
this contribution by allowing Montana to use as its match for
construction of the hatchery costs the state has borne for managing the
fishery of Fort Peck Reservoir since 1947. We have only been able to
accurately track costs back to 1983. However, since that time Montana
has spent over $11 million dollars in managing the fishery of Fort
Peck. These costs include propagation and stocking of walleye, bass,
northern pike, and chinook salmon as well as other projects related to
fisheries and recreational access to the reservoir (Attachment 7).
The other issue is who pays how much for the ongoing operation of
the hatchery. The annual costs for the state to rear and stock fish in
Fort Peck include those associated with: collecting eggs from walleye,
sauger, chinook and pallid sturgeon and transporting them to the
hatchery; operational costs for the hatchery itself including
personnel, utilities, fish food, maintenance; and cost to distribute
the fish to the reservoir. When the Fort Peck Hatchery is completed
both Miles City and Fort Peck will be used to stock Fort Peck
Reservoir. We estimate that the annual costs to rear and stock fish in
Fort Peck once the Fort Peck Hatchery is completed will be $750,000.
(Attachment 8). This includes the costs for the egg collection, the
operational costs of Fort Peck and 75 percent of Miles City, and the
cost to stock the fish.
Montana will pay for the collection and transportation of the eggs,
all the operational costs associated at the former Federal hatchery at
Miles City, and the costs for fish distribution which amounts to
$395,000 annually. In addition, revenues from the warmwater fish stamp
are estimated to produce $100,000 to $125,000 annually for the Fort
Peck Hatchery. The legislature limited by statute Montana's
contribution for the Fort Peck Hatchery to the dollars generated from
the stamp. Collectively, expenditures by the state equate to two-thirds
of the cost to stock and rear fish for Fort Peck. We believe this is a
fair contribution, and that the Federal portion or one-third of the
cost would go to fund day-to-day maintenance and operational expenses
for the Fort Peck Hatchery. In addition, the state is spending over a
quarter million dollars per year on work related to the endangered
pallid sturgeon, sauger restoration, and other related fish management
In closing I would like to reiterate Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
support for the Fort Peck Hatchery. We appreciate the hard work by
Senator Burns and his staff and others in the delegation. We have made
significant financial commitments to develop a reservoir fishery over
the last half century. We will continue to bear a significant part of
the load, and we applaud Congress and the Corps of Engineers for
stepping forward to pick up the Federal obligation. The people of
eastern Montana and our many out-of-state guests will surely benefit
from this legislation well into the next century.
Angling use estimates at Fort Peck Reservoir between 1984 and 199
Resident Resident Total
Year Angler Angler Angler
Days Days Days
1984................................... 23,056 170 23,226
1985................................... 35,885 1,526 37,411
1989................................... 33,734 4,058 37,792
1991................................... 39,552 3,793 43,455
1993................................... 35,580 6,419 41,999
1995................................... 56,617 7,429 64,046
1997................................... 92,147 16,415 108,562
ACTUAL WALLEYE PRODUCTION FOR MILES CIN HATCHERY 1983-2000 PERCENT OF PRODUCTION TO FORT PECK RESERVOIR
Miles City Total Production Percentage
Production Year Hatchery Fish Fort Peck Fish to Fort
Numbers Numbers Peck
1983.......................................................... 2,758,470.00 2,743,470.00 99.46
1984.......................................................... 19,658,268.00 6,048,132.00 81.64
1985.......................................................... 13,324,192.00 11,574,007.00 86.86
1986.......................................................... 12,420,974.00 5,200,000.00 41.86
1987.......................................................... 671,208.00 0.00 0.00
1988.......................................................... 32,864,995.00 26,114,995.00 79.46
1989.......................................................... 41,908,702.00 32,969,116.00 78.67
1990.......................................................... 16,695,174.00 8,437,957.00 50.54
1991.......................................................... 15,477,669.00 10,004,795.00 64.64
1992.......................................................... 27,667,916.00 18,572,539.00 67.13
1993.......................................................... 33,135,282.00 26,479,010.00 79.91
1994.......................................................... 35,138,544.00 28,697,334.00 81.67
1995.......................................................... 29,792,318.00 24,041,344.00 80.70
1996.......................................................... 36,642,822.00 25,115,795.00 68.54
1997.......................................................... 59,686,170.00 53,463,154.00 89.57
1998.......................................................... 36,075,067.00 29,433,538.00 81.59
1999.......................................................... 50,816,783.00 44,599,883.00 87.77
2000.......................................................... 50,000,000.00 42,500,000.00 85.00
TOTAL..................................................... 514,734,554.00 405,995,069.00 78.87
fort peck reservoir stocking records montana fwp 1940-1999
9MONTANA FWP COST TO RENOVATE MILES CITY HATCHERY TO MEET GROWING
STOCKING NEEDS 1985-1999
Miles City Hatchery Capital Recap Budget
1999 Legislative Session
7993104 Statewide Mtce/Hatchery 02409 $ 38,105.00
7993102 Miles City House Foundation 02409 8,478.30
1997 Legislative Session
7970932 Miles City Hatchery Repairs 02409 815,00.00
1993 Legislative Session
7950800 Miles City Hatchery Pond... 02409 110,000.00
1991 Legislative Session
7940901 Emergency Hatchery Mtce/ 02409 16,159.00
93-35-06 Fence Replace/Miles City 02409 18,373.00
Fence Replace/Miles City Hatchery.. 02409 55,120.00
1989 Legislative Session
89-35-14 Miles City Emergency 05013 62,500.00
1985 Legislative Session
85-35-17 Miles City Hatchery....... 02409 81,750.00
Miles City Hatchery................ 03097 245,250.00
Miles City Hatchery Expansion...... 05013 4,948,421.00
Total.......................... $ 6,586,156.30
hb 20 1999 montana state legislature
authorization for multi-species hatchery and establishment of a warm
water game fish stamp
1999 montana legislature
house bill no. 20
Introduced by S. Kitzenberg, A. Bishop, J. Bohlinger, D. Fuchs, K.
Gillan, L. Grosfield, T. Hagener, J. Harp, D. Hedges, J. Hertel, R.
Holden, T. Keating, R. Lenhart, M. Lindeen, J. Lynch, G. Matthews, M.
McCann, W. McNutt, A. Mohl, L. Nelson, R. Peck, B. Rehbein, F. Smith,
M. Sprague, J. Tester, D. Toews
an act establishing a multispecies fish hatchery near fort peck dam;
creating the warm water game fish surcharge and warm water game fish
stamp that will allow a licensee to fish in designated waters for warm
water game fish; dedicating surcharge revenue; creating accounts and
providing for administration of the accounts by the department of fish,
wildlife, and parks; prohibiting the department of fish, wildlife, and
parks from using for the hatchery more money than is in the accounts
established for the hatchery; and providing a contingent voidness
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Fort Peck multispecies fish hatchery established. (1)
There is a multispecies fish hatchery near Fort Peck dam. The purpose
of the hatchery is to provide healthy warm water game fish to improve
the warm water fishing opportunities in Montana with minimal impact on
cold water fish populations. Administration of the hatchery must be by
the department, consistent with the department's authority provided for
(2) The multispecies hatchery is intended to use 96 acres of
rearing ponds to produce warm water species. The hatchery is to employ
land available through long-term lease from the U.S. army corps of
engineers. It is intended that the hatchery use free, high-quality
water from the dredge cut adjacent to Fort Peck dam. Electric power for
the hatchery may be purchased from Fort Peck dam at the lowest
(3) Warm water species to be propagated at the hatchery may include
largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), smallmouth bass (Micropterus
dolomieui), walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), sauger (Stizostedion
canadense), black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), white crappie
(Pomoxis annularis), channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), yellow
perch (Perca flavescens), northern pike (Esox lucius), tiger
muskellunge, and bait fish, including cisco (Coregonus artedii). The
hatchery may also include raceways for salmon.
(4) Costs for hatchery construction, operation, maintenance, and
personnel are to be funded with revenue in the warm water game fish
accounts established in [section 2]. It is intended that the hatchery
be constructed in stages as revenue becomes available in the warm water
game fish accounts established in [section 2].
Section 2. Warm water game fish surcharge and stamp--warm water
game fish defined -accounts established--dedication of revenue to Fort
Peck multispecies fish hatchery. (1) A person who is required to be
licensed in order to fish in Montana and who desires to fish for warm
water game fish in waters listed pursuant to subsection (9) shall, upon
purchase of a Class A, Class B. Class B-4, or Class A-8 fishing
license, pay a warm water game fish surcharge of $5. The surcharge is
in addition to the license fee established for each class of license
and entitles the holder to fish for warm water game fish as authorized
by the department. Payment of the surcharge must be indicated by
placement of a warm water game fish stamp on the fishing license.
(2) A warm water game fish stamp is valid for the license year in
which it is purchased.
(3) Revenue from the warm water game fish surcharge must be placed
in the account created in subsection (5) and may be used only for the
purposes set out in subsection (7).
(4) As used in this section, ``warm water game fish'' includes but
is not limited to all species of the genera Stizostedion, Esox,
Micropterus, and Lota and includes largemouth bass (Micropterus
salmoides), smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieui), walleye
(Stizostedion vitreum), sauger (Stizostedion canadense), black crappie
(Pomoxis nigromaculatus), white crappie (Pomoxis annularis), channel
catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), yellow perch (Perca flavescens),
northern pike (Esox lucius), and tiger muskellunge.
(5) There is an account into which must be deposited:
(a) all proceeds from the warm water game fish surcharge
established in subsection (1); and
(b) money received by the department in the form of gifts, grants,
reimbursements, or appropriations from any source intended to be used
for the Fort Peck multispecies fish hatchery.
(6) The department shall administer the account within the state
special revenue fund established in 17-2-102.
(7) Subject to the provisions of subsection (8), revenue collected
under subsection (5) must be used by the department for the
construction, operation, maintenance, and personnel costs of the Fort
Peck multispecies fish hatchery established in [section 1], which may
include a cost-share agreement with the Federal Government for
construction of the Fort Peck multispecies fish hatchery, and beginning
October 1, 2005, for the costs incurred in eradicating illegally
introduced warm water species from Montana waters. No more than 15
percent of available revenue may be dedicated to eradication efforts.
(8) The department may not use any non-Federal funds for the
hatchery authorized in [section 1] other than those in the account
provided for in subsection (5). There is an account in the Federal
special revenue fund into which must be deposited all Federal money
received for purposes of the Fort Peck multispecies fish hatchery and
from which the department may use funds for the hatchery authorized in
(9) The department shall prepare a list of all waters into which
fish from the Fort Peck multispecies fish hatchery will be planted. The
waters designated in the list are the only waters for which a warm
water game fish stamp is required.
Section 3. Contingent voidness. If Federal funds are not committed
for the purposes of [this act] by June 30, 2001, then [this act] is
Section 4. Codification instruction. [Sections 1 and 2] are
intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 87, chapter 3,
part 2, apply to [sections 1 and 2].
Statement of Bud Clinch, Montana Department of Natural Resources and
On behalf of the Missouri River Basin Association, I am providing
you with this testimony in support of a Congressional authorization for
the warm water fish hatchery at Fort Peck Reservoir in northeastern
Montana (S. 2027).
The Missouri River Basin Association (MRBA) is a coalition of the
Missouri River basin's states and Indian tribes. The organization has a
nine-member board comprised of one representative of the basin's Indian
tribes and one Governor-appointed representative from each of eight
Missouri basin states (Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North
Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming). I serve as the Director of the
Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and as
Montana's representative to MRBA. The association coordinates planning
activities for the Missouri River among the basin's states, Federal
agencies, and Indian tribes.
Five years ago, the Corps of Engineers asked MRBA to develop
recommendations on a river operating plan that would be acceptable to
the basin's states and tribes. MRBA spent several years working with
marina operators, farmers, navigators, and representatives of water
supply interests to develop recommendations to improve the overall
economic and environmental conditions of the Missouri River basin. Two
years ago, MRBA completed this task with the publication of its
``Missouri River Planning Recommendations'' document. A fish hatchery
to be built at Fort Peck was one such recommendation. Constituents
throughout the basin support the recommendations included in that
document. During the past 2 years, MRBA has worked with water users and
interests to address the more difficult issues of drought flow
management and recovery of the basin's threatened and endangered bird
and fish species.
The entire basin supports the fish hatchery at Fort Peck Reservoir
for a variety of reasons:
MRBA and its constituents support the development of
recreational resources throughout the basin. The fish hatchery would
help turn Fort Peck Reservoir into a world class fishery.
The fish hatchery would be good for the economy of the
state and region. Improvements to the Fort Peck fishery will help draw
fishermen and recreationists from around the country.
The fish hatchery would provide mitigation for the on-
going impacts to the Fort Peck fishery from the river system operations
and water releases for downstream uses.
The warm water fishery can produce pallid sturgeon, a
federally listed species. The sturgeon fry can be used to stock the
waters of the Yellowstone River and the Missouri River below Fort Peck,
its traditional habitat.
In summary, the fish hatchery at Fort Peck Reservoir makes good
economic and environmental sense. Fort Peck Reservoir has incredible
fisheries potential for multiple species if appropriate stocking rates
can be implemented. Now is the time to invest in such projects because
the upcoming commemorations of the Lewis and Clark journey up the
Missouri River will bring tens of thousands of people to this region.
This fish hatchery can enhance the reservoir attraction, restore an
endangered species, and provide for economic growth. For all these
reasons I urge your support of S. 2027.
Statement of Chuck Lawson, Chairman, Citizens for a Fort Peck Hatchery
Lawson and I represent thousands of people, both resident and non-
resident, of a grass-roots group called Citizens for a Fort Peck Fish
Hatchery. This grass roots group was formed by talking to and listening
to anglers from all across the state of Montana. The more people we
visited with, the more it became apparent that, in order to protect our
existing warm-water fishery, to improve our angling, and to have ample
angling opportunities for our children, we needed to look to the future
and plan for it now. In addition, providing a good fishery is vital to
our sagging Eastern Montana economy.
With these ideas in mind, we decided to go out and talk to other
communities about them. We had meetings in Billings, Great Falls, Wolf
Point, Miles City, Glendive, Sidney, Glasgow, Plentywood, and
Lewistown. We advertised the meetings on the radio stations and the
newspapers in the communities prior to each meeting. There were many
ideas discussed and much debate, but two things became crystal clear
after all of these meetings were completed. First, the warm-water
anglers of Montana wanted to protect and enhance their fisheries for
today and they wanted to preserve angling opportunities for their
children for tomorrow. Second, they had absolutely no qualms about
paying for this project with a self-imposed $5.00 warm-water fishing
The hatchery has created a huge amount of interest and, for the
first time in years, you can actually see communities and citizens
pulling together for a common cause. Let me explain something about
warm-water anglers and how they operate. First, these anglers are very
mobile. Most of them own fishing boats and trailers and can move from
one body of water to another at the drop of a hat. If the fishing in
lakes in Montana is poor, these people just back their pickups up to
their boats and away they go to a different state or province where the
fishing is good. So, if the fishing is poor, first you lose your
resident anglers spending their dollars in our local economies and
second, you don't attract non-resident anglers to spend their dollars
in your communities. Now, if fishing is good on our lakes and rivers,
we keep resident anglers at home and they spend their dollars locally.
If the fishing is very good, you also attract out-of-state anglers who
spend their dollars in our communities. If we develop an exceptional
fishery, we can attract large, national media events like The In-
Fisherman program or the Professional Walleye Tour that bring our lakes
into millions of people's living rooms through television. These things
are actually happening at Fort Peck Lake right now, but, if we don't
take action to protect and enhance our fisheries, these things will
So, with these ideas we went to the 1998-99 legislative session in
Helena, Montana. We worked hard as a grass-roots group and, along with
Walleyes Unlimited of Montana and the Montana Bass Federation, we were
able to get the new warm-water stamp and the new Fort Peck Fish
Hatchery designated and signed into law by Governor Racicot. We did not
come out of the legislature, however, without an amendment that stated
if we didn't get some Federal funding by June 30 of 2001, then the
hatchery project would be dead.
In September 1999, we had a meeting with all interested parties and
tried to come up with a way to get a conceptual design and cost study
done. We asked the Corps of Engineers how much it would cost if they
did the study. They told us that the cost would be approximately
$250,000. Senator Burns had been lobbying to get this fully funded, but
wasn't successful. Instead, he was instrumental in getting a 50/50 cost
share from the Corps budget from planning assistance to states. The
Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks didn't have any funds to pay
the other $125,000, nor did the State. So that left the private sector
and the Citizens for a Fort Peck Hatchery to come up with the other 50
percent for the cost share.
We knew that the warm-water stamp would generate moneys to pay this
50 percent cost share, but it wouldn't go on sale until March 1 of
2000. So how could we come up with $125,000 by December, 1999? Well,
where there is a will, there is a way. First we contacted the Montana
Department of FWP and asked them if they would release the moneys from
the warm-water stamp to repay a loan if we could secure a loan for
$125,000. At first the Dept. told us they didn't know how much the
stamp would raise annually, but they seemed to think it would be at
Next, by law, the only thing that the stamp money can be used for
is construction, operation, and maintenance of the new hatchery. So,
they had to determine if a conceptual design and cost estimate were
indeed part of construction. The Dept. of FWP attorneys agreed that
design was part of construction and, therefore, if we could secure a
loan, then they would release whatever stamp moneys were available to
repay the loan.
We then approached First Community Bank in Glasgow and asked if
their lending institution would be willing to make a loan of $125,000
using the warm-water stamp for collateral. At the same time, we talked
with Nemont Telephone Cooperative of Scobey, MT, and asked them if they
also might be interested in helping with a loan. After about a week or
so, Mr. Sam Waters, President of First Community Bank, had us meet with
three other banking officers from Glasgow. We explained our plan to
borrow the $125,000 and have the stamp funds repay the loan when the
moneys became available. After another week, Mr. Waters called and
stated that they had 14 banks, two credit unions, and Nemont Telephone
Cooperative that would loan the $125,000 so the study could begin.
By this time--it is December, 1999, and we have to have the
conceptual design done and a firm cost estimate to give to our Federal
legislators by at least March of 2000. As of March 30, 2000, the Corps
of Engineers, Omaha District, finished the conceptual design. The Corps
of Engineers, Omaha District, did a superb job of doing the study and
got it to us in an extremely short timeframe.
The study has now been given to the Montana Congressional
delegation. We believe that the Federal Government has an obligation to
help with this funding. The government came to Montana in the 1930's
and built Fort Peck Dam. Montana and its citizens were promised low-
cost power and irrigation from Fort Peck project. Later Fort Peck
finally received a recreation status, as well. To this day, neither
Montana nor its citizens, past or present, have realized any low-cost
power or irrigation from Fort Peck. Montana, meanwhile, has spend many
millions of dollars to improve recreational opportunities around Fort
Peck Lake. When the dam was built, the water behind the dam flooded
some of the most productive agricultural land in five eastern Montana
counties. That land is out of production forever. Montana and the
counties around Fort Peck Lake have built and maintained the roads
around Fort Peck Lake for decades with little or no Federal help.
We also feel that the Missouri River dams have stopped the
migration routes of some fish species, especially the Pallid Sturgeon.
This fish is now listed on the threatened and endangered species list.
We also know that sauger is another fish native to the Missouri that
has dwindling numbers and is a species of special concern to the
Montana Dept. of FWP.
As we look ahead into the new millennium, we realize that small
agricultural-based communities will have to diversify in order to
remain solvent. We, in our communities, are already seeing stores
closing their doors forever. Some stores, such as J.C. Penney stores,
have been a landmark in the communities of Glasgow and Miles City for
generations. These stores will be missed on county tax rolls and by the
people they served. We realize that Federal money spent in Montana to
construct a fish hatchery will benefit many generations of citizens,
both resident and non-resident. We know that people come to Montana to
recreate more and more every year. These people come from all over the
United States and we feel that this fish hatchery will help us to be
able to provide exciting recreational experiences for residents and
non-residents for many years to come.
A common misconception about the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery is that
all the fish raised at the hatchery will go into Fort Peck Lake. This
is not at all true. Fish from this hatchery will be planted wherever
the Dept. of FWP has a need for them. The stocking of fish in other
Montana lakes and rivers will help other communities in Montana realize
economic benefits also. In decades to follow, we will still be here as
stewards of recreation and the new Fort Peck Fish Hatchery will realize
its potential in fish management, economic opportunities, and as a
promise to citizens all over this great nation that Montana is still
the Last Best Place to come and recreate.
In closing, I would like to thank the committee for hearing our
testimony. We would also like the committee to know that the Citizens
for a Fort Peck Fish Hatchery has not been paid for anything that we
have done to date. When we started this project over 18 months ago, we
knew that it would take time and we have not been deterred. We have
imposed a $5.00 warm-water stamp on ourselves to help pay the operation
and maintenance of the Fort Peck Hatchery once operational. We are
asking for the Federal Government to form a partnership with the State
of Montana, the private sector, and citizens to make this hatchery
project a true win/win situation for all parties involved.
Anglers' Dollars Boost State Economy
anglers' dollars worth $448 million to montana's economy
spending on recreational fishing helps to create 7,505 full-time jobs
Dec. 11, 1997.--Montana's 335,484 adult anglers spent $243,500,824
last year on fishing trips and equipment, according to economic
statistics released today by the American Sportfishing Association. The
study indicated that the local economic impact of angler expenditures
in Montana was $447,974,606 in 1996.
``Sportfishing is more important to Montana than ever before,''
said ASA President Mike Hayden. ``What an angler spends during a
weekend fishing trip ripples through the economy to create jobs, wages
and tax revenues for state and Federal Governments. In Montana, these
numbers are significant.''
Thc study conducted by Dr. Vishwanic Maharaj, ASA's director of
economics, indicates that sportfishing in Montana during created:
the equivalent of 7,505 full-time jobs;
$123,422,673 in wages;
$214,788 in State tax revenue; and
$11,114,641 in Federal tax revenue.
The study also indicated that anglers spent 2.617,100 days fishing
Montana's waters for a variety of game fish.
``Anglers in Montana are fishing more days and spending more money
on each trip.'' Maharaj said.
Hayden said the link between strong fishery resources and Montana
jobs is clear.
``Often industries such as power, timber and agriculture have
pitted the need to protect their jobs against the need for healthy
fisheries,'' Hayden said. ``These statistics send a pretty powerful
message that wise conservation choices that protect fish also protect
jobs. Clean, fishable water is of vita importance to our economy.''
The expenditure data used in ASA's economic impact analysis comes
from the 1996 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-
Associated Recreation, which was conducted by the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service. The survey polled sportsmen and women age 16 and
older on their spending habits and activities outdoors.
Nationally, the statistics indicate that the total economic impact
of recreational fishing in the United States reached $108 billion in
1996. Corrected for inflation, that is a 36 percent increase since the
last such study was conducted in 1991.
Sportfishing created more than 1.2 million full-time jobs in the
United States in 1996, generating $28.3 billion in wages. Sportfishing
created more than $3 billion in Federal income tax revenue and $2.39
billion in State income tax revenue.
ASA is a non-profit industry association working to ensure healthy
and sustainable resources and increase sportfishing participation
through education, conservation promotion and marketing. It is the only
recreational fishing organization that employs a full-time economist to
conduct original research and analyze research by the Federal
Government and others on sportfishing.
Office of Senator Conrad Burns, Montana
March 9, 2000
Mr. Chuck Lawson
Citizens for a Fort Peck Hatchery
P.O. Box 607
Glasgow, MT 59230-0607
Dear Chuck: I wanted to alert you to the progress being made as I work
with other Montanans to make the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery project a
reality. On February 3, 2000 I introduced S. 2027, the ``Fort Peck Fish
Hatchery Authorization Act of 2000.''
As you may know, the Fort Peck project was built in the 1930's to
dam the Upper Missouri River. The original authorization legislation
for the Fort Peck project, and subsequent revisions and additions, left
a great many promises unmet. A valley was flooded, but originally
Montana was promised increased irrigation, low-cost power, and economic
development. Since the original legislation, numerous laws have been
enacted promising increased recreational activities on the lake, and to
ensure that the Federal Government would provide more support for the
fish and wildlife resources in the area.
In this day and age, economic development in rural areas is
becoming more and more dependent upon recreation and strong fish and
wildlife numbers. The Fort Peck area is faced with a number of
realities. First, the area is in dire need of a fish hatchery. The only
hatchery in the region to support warm water species is found in Miles
City. It is struggling to meet the needs of the fisheries in the area,
yet it continues to fall short. Additionally, an outbreak of disease or
infrastructure failure at the Miles City hatchery would leave the
entire region reeling, with no secondary source to support the area's
We are also faced with the reality that, despite the promises given
by the Federal Government, the State of Montana has had to foot the
bill for fish hatchery operations in the area. Since about 1950 the
State has been funding these operations with little to no support from
the Army Corps of Engineers. The Citizens for a Fort Peck Fish
Hatchery, a citizen's group spanning the State of Montana, finally
decided to make the Federal Government keep its promises.
Last year the citizen's group organized, and state legislation
subsequently passed to authorize the sale of a warm water fishing stamp
to begin collecting funds for the eventual operation and maintenance of
the hatchery. I helped the group work with the Corps of Engineers to
ensure that $125,000 in the Corps budget for fiscal year 2000 was
allocated to a feasibility study for the project, and Montanans kept
their end of the bargain by finding another $125,000 to match the Corps
expenditure. Clearly, the local area is putting their money, along with
their sweat, behind this project.
A lot of effort has already gone into this project. A state bill
has been passed. The Corps has dedicated a project manager to the
project. Citizens have raised money and jumped over many of the hue.
But the bottom line is that this is a great project with immense
support. It is a good investment in the area, and it helps the Federal
Government fulfill one thing that it ought to--its promises.
I want to acknowledge that this legislation is still a work in
progress and many of the specifics will change as the Corps completes
its feasibility study on the project. It may cost slightly more than
the legislation that I have introduced. It may cost less. No piece of
legislation comes out of the process in the same form it went in, but I
felt it was vitally important to introduce legislation to keep the ball
rolling. I look forward to working with the rest of the Montana
Delegation, the State of Montana, citizens, and the administration to
work out the details and get the hatchery built as soon as possible.
Conrad Burns, United States Senator.
Office of the Governor,
State of Montana, January 18, 2000.
Citizens for a Fort Peck Hatchery
P.O. Box 607
Glasgow MT 59230
Dear Mr. Lawson: This is in reply to your letter last August regarding
our administration's assistance in securing funding for the Fort Peck
multi-species hatchery. I understand you have communicated regularly
with Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) on this matter, but wanted to take
a few minutes even at this late date to respond directly.
A great deal of activity has taken place in recent months to push
forward the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery. In particular, an agreement has
been reached between the State and the Corp of Engineers for a
preliminary engineering study which is a crucial first step. FWP will
commit the proceeds from the sale of the warmwater fish stamp to the
study. I was particularly pleased to see the community step forward and
provide interim funding for the match to the Corp of Engineers (COE)
until the proceeds from the warmwater stamp become available. This type
of commitment and ingenuity in solving problems is a credit to you and
others who are promoting this project and essential to seeing it
completed. I will follow the progress of the study closely and provide
assistance and support when this issue comes before Congress.
Thank you again for your interest in this project. We look forward
to working with your organization and the COE in the coming months.
Marc Racicot, Governor.
Office of Senator Max Baucus, Montana,
May 12, 1999.
Mr. Chuck Lawson
Citizens for a Fort Peck Hatchery
P.O. Box 607
Glasgow, Montana 59230
Dear Chuck: Thank you for your letter in support of the Fort Peck Fish
Hatchery. As you know, I support this important project and will work
in partnership with Citizens for a Fort Peck Hatchery to see it
To that end, I have asked Jo-Ellen Darcy of the Senate Environment
and Public Works Committee, of which I am ranking Democrat, to assist
you in your dealings with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other
Federal agencies. Please contact her at (202) 224-8832.
Thank you for allowing my involvement in this project. Please don't
hesitate to contact me at any time.
With best personal regards, I am
Office of Senator Max Baucus, Montana,
January 31, 2000.
Mr. Chuck Lawson
Citizens for a Fort Peck Hatchery
P.O. Box 607
Glasgow, Montana 53230
Dear Chuck: I appreciate receiving updates on the progress of the Fort
Peck Fish Hatchery project. When you and Sam Kitzenberg proposed this
project to my office in the fall of 1998, prior to the 1999 session of
the Montana Legislature, I was strongly supportive of the hatchery
proposal. It was then and continues to be my opinion that this project
will have a huge impact on economic development and natural resources
in northeastern and central Montana.
As the Ranking Democratic Senator for the U.S. Senate Committee on
Environment and Public Works, I look forward to receiving the request
for authorization of the Fort Peck Fish Hatchery. I assure you and
those Montanans who have worked so hard on this project that I will
make it a priority to see it successfully reported to the full Senate,
I also pledge my support to work closely with the other members of
the Montana congressional delegation to secure funding from my
Democratic colleagues through the appropriations process.
Again, my thanks for your consistent leadership in this project. I
look forward to working with you, the Citizens for a Fort Peck
Hatchery, the Montana Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited, as well as the
Montana counties and communities who have taken such an active role. I
am particularly pleased to with the partnership role taken by the
Federal and state agencies who have collaborated so well in this
endeavor, particularly Roy Snyder and the U.S, Army Corps of Engineers.
With best personal regards, I am
Office of the Lieutenant Governor,
State of Montana, April 4, 2000.
Citizens for a Fort Peck Fish Hatchery
P.O. Box 607
Glasgow MT 59230
Dear Chuck: Thank you so much for sending me an update on the Fort Peck
Fish Hatchery project.
The Citizens for a Fort Peck Fish Hatchery have worked very hard
supporting this project and should take great pride in the progress
that has been made so far. I have always believed that the best way to
ensure success is for people to come together working cooperatively for
common cause. I agree that it is rare to be able to pull together so
many diverse parties in cooperation as you have done, and I
congratulate you on your well earned success.
Thank you again for your update and best wishes for the continued
success of this wonderful project.
Judy Martz, Lieutenant Governor.
Department of the Army,
Corps of Engineers,
Omaha, NE 68102-4978, 6 January 1999
Mr. Chuck Lawson,
Citizens for a Fort Peck Hatchery
P.O. Box 607
Glasgow, MT 59230.
Dear Mr. Lawson: This is in response to your December 21, 1998 letter
to Mr. Roy Snyder of my stay requesting the availability of Corps of
Engineer lands below Fort Peck Dam for a multi-species fish hatchery.
The use of the requested lands for a fish hatchery is compatible
with the authorized project purpose of fish and wildlife management as
provided by the 1944 Flood Control Act, as amended. It is also
consistent with similar facilities we have below our dams in North
Dakota and South Dakota. Accordingly, provided all environmental laws
and regulations are met and we have a valid request for the lands from
a government entity, I can foresee that the lands would be made
available for construction of a fish hatchery.
I should emphasize, I am not commenting on whether a fish hatchery
at this location would be good or bad or is even needed. I am, however,
saying a fish hatchery is compatible with the Corps mission and we have
made our lands available for similar facilities in the past.
I hope this preliminary assessment of the availability of Corps
lands for a fish hatchery is helpful. If you have any questions or need
additional information please contact me at (402)221-4135 or Mr. Roy
Snyder At (406,526-3411.
Paul R. Wemhoener, P.E.
Chief, Operations Division.
Statement of Robert McColly, on Behalf of the Valley Electric
Good morning. My name is Robert McColly and I am a former Board
President and member of Valley Electric Cooperative behalf today. I am
a life-long resident of Montana the rural electric cooperative movement
The legislation that is the subject of this hearing, S. 2027,
proposes to establish a warm water fish hatchery at Fort Peck Lake.
This legislation reflects an increasing environmental awareness and
recognizes the need to take action to maintain viable fish populations
in the Missouri River and its reservoirs.
I am concerned, however, about the power supply provisions
contained in Section 6 (Cost Sharing) (b)(3) which states ``The
Secretary [of the Army] shall offer to the hatchery project low-cost
project power for all hatchery operations.''
First, the marketing of power generation at the Pick-Sloan Missouri
Basin Program multi-purpose dams is a responsibility of the Western
Area Power Administration (WAPA), not the Corps of Engineers. WAPA was
established in 1977 for that specific purpose--to market Federal power
generated at Federal dams. Under the Flood Control Act of 1944, that
power is first offered to consumer-owned electric utilities in the
The Western Area Power Administration has currently allocated all
of the output of the Federal dams that are part of the Pick-Sloan
Missouri Basin Program. That means that any legislation enacted that
calls for further allocations of Pick-Sloan power will force WAPA to
withdraw power from existing customers.
Pick-Sloan power is a crucial part of our power supply. The rural
electric cooperatives, municipal electric utilities, and public power
districts in the region entered into a partnership with the Federal
Government to help pay the costs of a vast regional scheme meant to aid
in the economic development of the region. Rather than build their own
power plants, these consumer-owned entities agreed to purchase the
output from the Federal dams. In areas as sparsely settled as Montana
and other upper Great Plains state, this power has helped to nurture
already fragile local economies.
Our allocations of Pick-Sloan power are already being diminished.
Our rural electric cooperative--along with all other firm power Federal
customers--will already be losing 4 percent at the end of this year to
provide power for newly qualifying consumer-owned electric utilities
and Native American Tribes under WAPA's Energy Planning and Management
Plan (EPAMP). In 2006, WAPA may withdraw another 1 percent of our
Federal allocation to create another Resource Pool for additional
allocations. The Corps' impending revision of the Master Manual also
threatens to diminish the Federal resource we depend upon. Changes in
river operations could threaten not only the availability of Federal
power, but also its price. The Western Area Power Administration cannot
market power that is not there.
The Endangered Species Act stand to affect Missouri River
operations, and, in fact, it already has. The Corps of Engineers has
already modified releases in an effort to help recover the Interior
Least Tern and Piping Plover, losing precious power generation in the
process. The recovery plan for the pallid sturgeon has yet to be
Power supply for the fish hatchery is an important issue, no doubt
about that; but it must be analyzed within the context of the economies
it is meant to serve. In this part of the country, we know full well
how important affordable power is.
The hatchery would receive the benefits of Pick-Sloan power by
purchasing its needs from the local rural electric cooperative. A power
supply for the hatchery using Pick-Sloan power from the dam will
disadvantage the local rural electric cooperative by reducing their
allocation and depriving all consumer-owners in the area of needed load
to maintain rate stability. The whole is greater than the sum of its
Furthermore, since the operations and maintenance costs of the
hatchery are a Federal obligation, it makes little sense to sell the
power at the project rate (2.5 mills). To do so would make the power
costs not a Federal obligation, but the obligation of power customers
throughout the region, who will be paying for the true cost (currently
14.54 mills) through their electric bills.
As I understand it, the fish hatchery would not be needing power
until 2006 or so. Why not seek an allocation under the next Resource
Pool allocation process of the Western Area Power Administration? In
that way, the hatchery could receive a direct allocation of Pick-Sloan
power without forcing WAPA to withdraw even more power from its firm
I urge the sub-committee to vest the determination of Federal power
supply with the Federal agency that bears that responsibility--the
Western Area Power Administration; and consider alternatives to the
power supply language currently in the bill.
Statement of Carl Seilstad, Walleyes Unlimited
Unlimited. It is an honor to represent Walleyes Unlimited and all
warm water fishermen across the state in promoting the multi species
warm water fish hatchery. Walleyes Unlimited is an organization that
helps promote, enhance and protect the future of fishing in Montana. We
have a membership in excess of 4000 members. We have 18 chapters across
Montana; warm water anglers are all over the state of Montana.
Individual citizens all well as various organizations have put
forth a lot of time and effort to promote the hatchery to where it is
today. People who have said they do not fish have helped us also. This
defines the amount of support we have received on the hatchery.
$63,867.95 has been contributed to the hatchery fund as of April 23,
2000. Walleye Unlimited Chapters, private citizens, and various
businesses and organizations have contributed to the fund. These funds
are designated for payment on the loan that was obtained to pay for the
conceptual design of the hatchery.
We as Walleyes Unlimited members strongly believe the new hatchery
will help preserve and protect the future of fishing for generations to
come. Take for example the Gauger, a native species to many rivers and
lakes. The Gauger is currently on the concerned species list. Currently
MFWP has reduced catch limits for sauger on certain rivers. Last year
1,000,000 Gauger eggs were collected. Out of the million eggs only
200,000 fry were released and 100,000 fingerlings. There isn't
sufficient space at Miles City to keep up with the declining sauger
numbers. The new hatchery would have the space and capabilities to help
keep this species of fish from being put on the endangered species
Walleyes Unlimited Chapters across the state each year conduct kids
fishing days. We teach young anglers fish information, knot tying, the
importance of catch and release and various other fishing techniques.
We feel it is very important to get children involved in fishing. The
MFWP has also started a program called Get Hooked on Fishing, Not on
Drugs Schools and teachers across the state are involved in this
program. The schools that sign up for this program are sent fishing
tackle and booklets on techniques and ethics of fishing. Field fishing
days and classroom activities make this program very beneficial.
We do all of these activities and programs for our future anglers.
Let's insure these young people we will have quality warm water fishing
in the state. The new warm water multi species hatchery will help make
this goal a reality.