hatchery

The comment period on fish stocking has been extended to June 25 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) have extended the deadline for the public to comment on the draft Environmental Assessment (dEA) of Arizona’s sport fish stocking program. The original June 11 deadline has been extended until June 25, 2021, to allow for more comment opportunity. The methods of providing public comments remain the same as in the original announcement and are described below.

The dEA is part of a process to continue to allow federal Sport Fish Restoration funding to support AZGFD’s long-standing program of stocking fish for public recreational opportunities, and for hatchery operations and maintenance. Each year, thousands of anglers in Arizona take advantage of the fish stocking program, which is funded in part by federal dollars from the Sport Fish Restoration Program and augmented by state dollars from fishing license sales.

Every 10 years, USFWS and AZGFD evaluate the social, economic and environmental effects of Arizona’s stocking program, and pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), prepare a dEA that analyzes possible actions or alternatives. The preferred alternative for the agencies, also known as the Proposed Action, would allow AZGFD to continue its stocking program for the next 10 years and also includes conservation measures to reduce potential impacts on federally listed or sensitive native aquatic or semi-aquatic species.

Members of the public are encouraged to review and provide comments on the dEA. Written comments can be submitted through 5 p.m. (Arizona time) on June 25, 2021. Comments can be either:

• Emailed to fw2fa@fws.gov, or

• Sent by U.S. Mail to Arizona Game and Fish Department, Attention Dave Weedman, 5000 W. Carefree Highway, Phoenix, AZ 85086 (must be postmarked no later than June 25, 2021).

Your written comments—including personal identifying information, such as name, address, phone number, and email address—may be made publicly available at any time. While you may ask that personal identifying information be withheld from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

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