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Washington lawmakers propose pilot hatchery project

Two companion bills propose building a new fish hatchery on Bellingham’s waterfront.
Credit: AP
A spawning salmon jumps as water flows over a small dam that has trapped fall leaves, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, during the fall spawning season at the Issaquah Fish Hatchery in Issaquah, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Republican state legislators have introduced a bill that includes a pilot hatchery project in Bellingham.

The lawmakers believe it will help increase the salmon population and help the orca whales.

Called the Salmon Repopulation Act, Senate Bill 6509 and House Bill 2741 were referred to committees. They would attempt to bring a public-partnership in state-approved hatcheries, and potentially build a new hatchery on Bellingham’s waterfront.

In a news conference Tuesday, several Republican legislators talked about the need for this public-private model to get more fish in local waters.

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