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The Mountain-Prairie Region


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

May 29, 2001

Contact: Richard Bottomley 435-789-4481
Carol Taylor 303-236-7862, x285
Karen Gleason 303-236-7917, x431

New Manager Takes Charge at Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery

A new permanent Hatchery Manager has arrived at Jones Holes National Fish Hatchery near Vernal, Utah, to fill a critical post at the facility, which produces about 2 million trout a year for stocking in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado. The 33-year-old hatchery had been supervised by former Assistant Manager, John Seals, since the retirement of long-time manager Lloyd Strobeck. Seals has moved on to a new post as Hatchery Manager at Leadville National Fish Hatchery in Leadville, Colorado, his home state.

Hatchery Manager Richard "Kip" Bottomley, a California native, arrived this month to begin the challenging task of managing fish production at Jones Hole. Located on 390 acres in a sandstone geologic setting, the hatchery produces rainbows, browns, and brook trout for stocking in tribal waters and to compensate for the loss of fish caused by Colorado River dams and reservoirs. Jones Hole began operation as a National Fish Hatchery in 1968, producing its first trout in 1970.

With an annual budget of $370,000 in Fiscal Year 2000, the hatchery reared almost 2 million trout that were stocked in 30 different lakes and rivers in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado, the largest and most well-known area being Flaming Gorge Reservoir, a popular fishing spot.

The hatchery’s fish production generated 185,000 angler days for the year, valued at $9.25 million. That production amounts to over 23 times the value of the federal tax revenue spent to run the facility, a return of over 2300 percent on the dollar.

"The work of our National Fish Hatcheries consistently produces a phenomenal return on the taxpayer’s investment," said Ralph Morgenweck, Director of the Service’s eight-state Mountain-Prairie Region. "We need to maintain this valuable resource, or anglers and the associated recreational economy in this country will sustain great losses."

"I’m looking for opportunities at Jones Hole to expand the program with volunteers and upgrade the facility, so we can continue serving the local anglers and tribes," said Bottomley.

To meet the high demand for fish, Jones Hole uses 40 rearing tanks and 50 raceways for raising trout. However, with a current backlog of maintenance projects totaling $1.4 million and an

operational funding shortfall of $730,000 for needed construction, the hatchery is at risk of declining efficiency, which could impact future fish production.

Jones Hole National Fish Hatchery, located 41 miles northeast of Vernal, is open to the public and welcomes visitors for a close-up view of the fish production process. Educational programs and tours are available for groups scheduled in advance. Over 7,000 people a year visit the hatchery, which borders Dinosaur National Monument. The surrounding area offers many outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking trails, picnic areas, camping, canoeing, birdwatching, mountain biking, and excellent fishing in Jones Hole Creek.

"This is a beautiful place to be and a wonderful destination spot to visit," said Bottomley. "We welcome visitors to come explore the hatchery grounds, see all the fish, and enjoy the natural surroundings, a setting which is like no place else in the world."

"I’m really looking forward to my new job here," he added.

During the past 18 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bottomley worked in Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington State, gaining experience with numerous species at five different fish hatcheries and several National Wildlife Refuges. He began his career at Mt. Diablo State Park in California and with the Youth Conservation Corp while earning degrees in general education and Fisheries Management.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses more than 535 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

For more information about the Mountain-Prairie Fisheries Program, including information on the locations of fish stocked by National Fish Hatcheries in the region, please visit our website at

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