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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
5 Minutes of your time would be worth it
ok guys we need some help. We have a legislator (Mike Noel of Kanab) who is considering writing a bill that forces the state to purchase fish from private growers and at this point it hasnt been determined whether these fish will be tested for WD or not when they are planted. And frankly this same guy holds all the cards on the DNR/DWR since he is over state appropriations so they are scared of him. So, I think each of us should write a short letter to him to let him know there are a lot of fishermen in this state that dont want this and that some of you could vote against him, but to also show him we fishermen will stick together on this and not let him write a bill that forces the state to do something that could really hurt the resource.

Please take 5 minutes and write him and tell him you dont support any bill that would MANDATE the state to purchase privately grown fish and certainly you dont support any legislation that would allow any DEVIATION from current laws allowing WD positive fish to be put in any state waters of utah. Be NICE about this but firm, we need a real showing of some support about this or its going to get shoved down our throats.

his email address is [email protected]

at the same time please copy these letters to

Jim Karpowitz at Jim [email protected] and

Walt Donaldson at [email protected]
 

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Is there link to his actual bill? I hate to over-react to something until I have more info from verified sources. If what you say is true, I will write and voice my opposition. Any additional info would be appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Guys: the single most important thing is to contact YOUR OWN state senator and state legislator and, say, in essence, the following (please use your own words; if you just cut and paste someone else's email they will disregard the email):

(1) YOU LIVE IN THEIR DISTRICT,
(2) YOU ARE AN AVID ANGLER/FLY FISHERMAN,
(3) YOU'VE HEARD THAT THERE MAY BE A BILL INTRODUCED DURING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION ON PRIVATE FISH FARMING THAT COULD FORCE THE DWR TO BUY INFECTED FISH FROM PRIVATE GROWERS
(4) YOU THINK THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA AND YOU EXPECT THEM TO OPPOSE ANY BILL THAT DOES THAT (the more nuanced point is "I don't have any problem with private growers, but I have BIG problem with whirling disease positive fish being stocked ANYWHERE in the state").
(5) ASK THEM to please keep you informed if they hear anything more about this bill.

In short, you want to lay out very quickly WHO you are, WHY you care, WHY they should care about you and your opinion, and WHAT you want them to do about it. Consider calling them (they get tons of email and some of them don't read them). In all cases you should be unfailingly polite. I'm serious about that. A rude or ill-considered contact can do far more harm than good

If you don't know who your legislator is, you can type in your mailing address at the following website and find out:

http://www.le.state.ut.us/maps/amap.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
proutdoors said:
Is there link to his actual bill? I hate to over-react to something until I have more info from verified sources. If what you say is true, I will write and voice my opposition. Any additional info would be appreciated.
This type of legislation is what is called a "box car", so currently the bill has nothing in it, but at anytime he can put in what ever he wants. Only in politics could this happen right! Problem is this, if we wait he gets what he wants, if we do something now he might get enough resistance to stop him or tone it down some! I cant choose for you all-- but if it happens and gets passed and you have problems because of it dont bitch ok, this is your chance.

--Box Car Legislation: Legislators must submit bills prior to the coming session, so they submit a boxcar bill which is blank in order to have one handy in case they need to quickly submit new legislation.--

Here is a link about this bill in the Tribune:
http://www.sltrib.com/columnists/ci_7582459
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is my understanding that this bill would require the DWR to purchase hatchery fish from private growers to stock public waters and that the health of the fish as a human food product would be the only consideration DWR could use to deny such a purchase. What this means, in practical terms, is that Whirling Disease infected fish (as well as other fish diseases) would be used for public stocking purposes. If this is true, then there are many reasons why this legislation would be inappropriate.

States in the west, with the best example of Colorado, have tested the effect of stocking public waters with WD infected fish: it has been a disaster. The spore loads of the parasite reach very high levels in such waters, insuring the loss of reproduction of wild rainbow and cutthroat trout, and diminishing the fitness of brown trout. From a anglers point of view, this practice would lead to a substantial degradation of the fishery. Colorado has repudiated its use of infected fish for stocking purposes as have all states that I am aware of. Utah would be the only state to actively support the stocking of such diseased fish in public waters. Anglers in Utah would not support this bill.

At this time, Utah is between a rock and a hard place regarding the listing of Bonneville cutthroat trout on the endangered list. Using infected fish for stocking Utah waters would increase the chance of introduction of the disease (either via fish, man or birds) in the pristine waters that the Bonneville needs for reproduction. Cutthroat's are very sensitive to WD and any expansion of this disease into spawning regions that these cutt's use would most likely insure the entry of the federal government to protect this species. I do not believe this is a goal that the DWR has for the future of the Bonneville.

This bill would also set an interested precedent that could be termed "wildlife farming revitalization". Chronic wasting disease originated in a game farm in Colorado and was later transferred to other states (such as Wisconsin) through the transport of infected animals. At this time there is no case of a documented transfer of CWD to humans after eating infected meat (similarly there are no documented instances of humans contracting WD from eating infected fish). If this bill passes and I owned a game farm of deer/elk that I wanted to sell to the DWR so they could stock popular hunting areas, I would have a strong legal precedent to force the DWR to purchase my animals regardless of their disease state. I do not think that Sportmans for Fish and Wildlife and other hunting/conservation groups would be in support of setting the precedent of releasing diseased animals into the wild.

The fact is private fish farms in Utah operate in 2007 basically the same way they did in 1907. Times change and you either have to invest in the infrastructure to be competitive or not. There are certainly many examples of businesses that have failed because the market changed (and they did not) or they lacked a product of value, and the state was not expected to save their hides. To expect the state to take on this obligation is simply creating social welfare for the private fish farmers which, in the long term, will not serve anyone except to reward inefficiency. That seems un-American and certainly un-Utahn to me.
 

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Thanks for the input. I will be contacting my State Senator AND my Rep. and letting them know how I feel about fish farms and WD. Thanks for the heads up!
 

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This needs your attention!

Copy and paste from another forum...
http://www.utahonthefly.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17458
http://www.utahonthefly.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17653

private aqua culture bill posted 1-07-08
well it appears that rep Noels bill about the PA is moving ahead. Word on the street is that the Farm Bureau is writing the bill for noel, that could open up real problems for teh DWR and us. Again any money spent by the DWR on these fish will take away money from programs that they have going right now because the legislature is not talking about adding money to their budget because of this.

And if they get this passes, here is a kicker. not only utah growers but colorado and california growers could bid on dropping fish in utah because from what I hear it is against interstate commerce laws to exclude them from bidding process, so this money that the legislature thinks they will be giving to the instate private growers to satisfy their problems may not even stay in the state of utah. So the lic money that you pay to support utah fish might just be going into somebodies pocket out of state because of politicians listing to private parties when they should be looking at the overall picture and resources.

Just an update for you guys that are interested...
 

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done...thanks for including addresses. Maybe we could ask this guy why sportsman contribute such a huge amount of revenue, and the DNR only gets a fraction of it.
 

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Thought I'd pass this along as well.... Copy and paste from another forum.

dudes,

I have an idea. Lets make early contact with all the reps on the committee that will be voting to move Noels bill on. Here is the listing of reps on that committee. If we can get it turned that early we will be ahead.

http://www.le.state.ut.us/asp/interi...008&Com=HSTNAE
(go to committee membership to see the list)

Please, please write a letter to anyone on that list even if you dont live in their area. Here are some things to explain to them.
************************************************** *********
There is a bill listed with nothing written but the short title not allowing us to see the proposed legislation up front concerning a resource that we all care about. Here is the website with it listed. Let them know that the farm bureau is writing the bill for Noel and they (FB) arent saying what is in it even if you ask them they wont tell you.

http://le.utah.gov/asp/billsintro/Re...istbox3=NOELME

Here are the main points that we need to get out to all of them:

1. The concerns are that they could allow fish that could be WD positive put in utah waters risking our resource.

2. There is no demand at this time for privately grown fish because the state hatchery system covers cold water spiecies demand at 100% currently, so this is really a subsidy to the fish farmers in reality.

3. Out of state raisers could bid on and win the contracts for fish since it is against the law to exclude them, thus we would be spending DWR money for fish we don't really need and the intended results of the legislation wont even get the money to the aquaculture guys in utah. And any money we spend on this will directly decrease the DWR budget because no one is intending to add to their budget to make this work.

4. The price for fish from the hatchery is around 3.59 per pound, average price of privately grown fish is around 5.90 so the states fishermen would be getting roughly 60% of the fish they could get if we just used hatchery fish.

5. This could open up things that the state really should be very careful about, i.e. privately raised elk and buffalo… because if you do it with fish they will be next because frankly there would be no difference. So is the legislature truly willing to risk that as well????

Let them know IF there is going to be a bill then the vast majority of the 500000 fishermen in this state would like to see the following ammendments to protect the resource.

1. Shall not pay more for fish than current state and federal hatchery costs to raise the fish (current average cost/lb from ALL DWR hatcheries, including transport is ~$3.65)
2. The fish MUST be certified disease free (and tested in the very same manner that DWR inspects their fish (no pooling samples for whirling disease testing and use of PCR testing at locations that have previously tested positive); also their hatcheries should be certified free of aquatic nuisance species such as New Zealand mud snails. Also, fish can only be treated for diseases in accordance with current FDA standards.
3. The growers shall bear the costs of all inspection and health certificates
4. The growers shall not charge for transportation costs
5. All funding to purchase aquaculture growers fish must come out of the General Fund, not DWR license fees.

Again a little work now might really save a great big headache down the road some. I would hope all of you would care enough about the fish to write even just one of those guys listed!
 

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I have an idea. Lets make early contact with all the reps on the committee that will be voting to move Noels bill on. Here is the listing of reps on that committee. If we can get it turned that early we will be ahead.

http://www.le.state.ut.us/asp/interi...008&Com=HSTNAE
(go to committee membership to see the list)

Please, please write a letter to anyone on that list even if you dont live in their area. Here are some things to explain to them.
************************************************** *********
Rep. Roger E. Barrus, Chair - [email protected]

Rep. Kerry W. Gibson, Vice Chair - [email protected]

Rep. Sylvia S. Andersen - [email protected]

Rep. Melvin R. Brown - [email protected]

Rep. Glenn A. Donnelson - [email protected]

Rep. Jack R. Draxler - [email protected]

Rep. Carl W. Duckworth - [email protected]

Rep. James R. Gowans - [email protected]

Rep. Neal B. Hendrickson - [email protected]

Rep. John G. Mathis - [email protected]

Rep. Michael E. Noel - [email protected]

Rep. Patrick Painter - [email protected]

Rep. Phil Riesen - [email protected]

Rep. Stephen E. Sandstrom - [email protected]

Rep. Bradley A. Winn - [email protected]

J Brian Allred Policy Analyst - [email protected]

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[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]
 

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Hey thanks for grouping all of their email addresses together. I went ahead and sent the same message that I sent to Mr. Noel and my own Senator to the list (minus Mr. Noel).

Thanks.

Everybody should get in on this.
 

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I sent one to the mail listed below, and cc'ed my representative. He, Carl Wimmer got right back to me asking for more information. Your voice does count, make some noise.
 
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