U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (AP Photo)
NASHVILLE — A decision by the Department of the Interior means that Tennessee fish hatcheries will remain open, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander said Wednesday.
Alexander said in a release that the nearly 900,000 Tennesseans who buy fishing licenses depend on the hatcheries to replace trout destroyed by federal locks and dams.
The state's fish hatcheries are located in Erwin and Dale Hollow.
Fishing advocates had feared that a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report expected to be delivered next month would recommend the closure of hatcheries.
Alexander said he was informed by the Interior Department that it will not close any hatcheries in October and that it has instructed the Fish and Wildlife Service to work on a long-term solution with Congress, state wildlife agencies and fishing groups.