Funding for Glenwood Springs on the line

The Glenwood Springs Hatchery on Orcas Island may soon be needing to find a new source of funding.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is currently reviewing its contribution of approximately $80,000 a year to the hatchery, which is part of the Long Live the Kings organization based in Seattle. WDFW is looking at using the money for another hatchery instead.

“We’re still working on what that might look like, and have not formally presented [Long Live the Kings] with a letter on what our target might be,” said Ron Warren, head of WDFW’s Fish Program “We would not want to do anything that would have a negative effect without giving the proper amount of time for Long Live the Kings to look for other funding opportunities.”

The Glenwood Springs Hatchery, located on the eastern shore of East Sound, is operated by LLTK. The property on which the hatchery is located is owned by LLTK’s founder Jim Youngren. Starting in 1978, he spawned Chinook Salmon out of the small hatchery until he created the nonprofit organization, which has partners across the state, in 1986.

“We are, of course, concerned by a cut because it can affect our operations,” said LLTK Deputy Director Michael Schmidt. “We’re trying to work with the department in finding a solution.”

WFDW is still in the process of drafting how those funds will be used in the future, Warren said, adding that he still needs to propose a plan to the director of the department.

“They’ve been a great partner over the years; we certainly don’t want to do anything that will damage that relationship,” said Warren. “We’re not looking at the elimination of the fund source, just a reduction.”