News Release
Southeast Region


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Erwin National Fish Hatchery Gets Recovery Act Funding to Replace Raceway Shelters – WeatherPORT Awarded $22,952 to Build and Install Fish Raceway Covers

Recovery Act funding will replace these three large white vinyl shelters to cover and protect the raceways at Erwin National Fish Hatchery.  Credit:USFWS

Recovery Act funding will replace these three large white vinyl shelters to cover and protect the raceways at Erwin National Fish Hatchery. Credit:USFWS


September 29, 2009


John Robinette, Erwin national hatchery manager, (423) 743-4712,
Tom MacKenzie; (404) 679-7291 / (678) 296-6400 Tom MacKenzie, 404/679-7291, 678/296-6400,
Digital photos available; photo opportunities may be arranged WeatherPORT, 866-984-7778,


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Filed under: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — Tags: Hatchery, fishing, trout, Region 4, Southeast Region

(Erwin, Tenn.) The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded a $22,952 contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Recovery Act) to HWP, LLC, also known as WeatherPORT, of Delta, Colorado, to improve and upgrade the Erwin National Fish Hatchery facilities in Erwin, in eastern Tennessee.

The Service contracted WeatherPORT to build and install three large white vinyl shelters to cover and protect the raceways (the large concrete troughs where the fish are raised).

“The custom-made tents not only provide shade for the fish, they protect them from fish-eating birds,” said John Robinette, hatchery manager. “They also save money by reducing predation, replacement fish, and fish food.”

“This small investment will provide a major benefit for the fish industry, keeping people working and research moving forward,” Robinette explained.

Established in 1897, Erwin National Fish Hatchery annually produces 10-14 million disease-free rainbow trout eggs for federal, state, and tribal hatcheries throughout the Nation. Erwin also provides eggs to research centers and universities.

“These shelters also eliminate contact with fish eating birds preventing the introduction of any contamination or diseases,” said Robinette. “If viruses were to hit our hatchery, the hatcheries we support could not use the eggs we produce.” The covers should be installed by the end of September 2009.

More than 50,000 people visit the hatchery in eastern Tennessee every year to learn how the Service provides millions of eggs to send to other hatcheries.

Funding for these projects and hundreds more across the nation comes from the Recovery Act passed earlier this year. Of the $3 billion appropriated to the Department of the Interior, the Recovery Act provides $280 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - which includes $115 million for construction, repair and energy efficiency retrofit projects at Service facilities, and $165 million for habitat restoration, deferred maintenance and capital improvement projects. Projects will help create local jobs in the communities where they are located and around the United States, while stimulating long-term employment and economic opportunities for the American public. The Service will channel nearly $56.6 million of Recovery Act funding into economic stimulus projects throughout the Southeast Region.

Recovery Act projects address long-standing priority needs identified by the Service through its capital planning process. The agency worked through a rigorous merit-based process to identify and prioritize investments meeting the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that a project addresses the Department’s highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.

For a full list of funded projects nationwide, go to the Department’s Recovery web site at For a list of Service projects, click on the Service’s logo at the bottom of the page or visit The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site, which includes an interactive map that allows the public to track where and how the Department’s recovery dollars are being spent. In addition, the public can submit questions, comments or concerns at

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit and


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2009 News Releases.

Last updated: September 29, 2009