News Release
Southeast Region


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Dale Hollow Stimulus Fund Project Helps Local Farmers and Construction Company

November 29, 2010

Phil Kloer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service public affairs, (404) 679-7025,
ARRA Project #4151 R4PD



Sign with the ARRA logo and USFWS logo describing the project

Sign at Dale Hollow. Credit: USFWS.


A square cement foundation

Workers build a drum filter building on an ARRA contract at Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery. Credit: USFWS.


Two workers pour cement

Pouring walls of drum filter building. Credit: USFWS.

When it is completed, the new water treatment system at Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery, near Celina, Tenn., will improve the region’s water quality. The system will prevent fish waste from flowing into the Obey River and will also stockpile nitrogen-rich fertilizer, which will be given away free to farmers to spread on their crops.

But while it is still being built, the project is important to Putnam Contracting Services LLC of Cookeville, Tenn.  Martin Ing, co-owner of Putnam Contracting, said his small business was on the verge of having to lay off some of its approximately 20 employees earlier this year when the contract, which uses money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), came through.

“We are very grateful for the stimulus funds that have enabled us to keep meeting our payroll, and to be a part of this valuable project,” Ing said. “With the contract, we were able to retain all of our workers and even hire one more person.”

The ARRA contract was awarded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to MWH Constructors of Chicago, Ill., a firm that designs projects like the waste water treatment facility at Dale Hollow. MWH in turn sub-contracts with companies like Putnam to build the various component parts of the system.

Since Oct. 1, the Putnam construction crew has been laying the foundation and building the drum filter building on the hatchery grounds. Ing said they plan to be finished in March 2011.

“We’re delighted to have Putnam Contracting back at Dale Hollow,” said hatchery manager Andrew Currie. “They have done projects for us in the past, but none as important as this one, which is going to benefit both the Obey River and the farmers in our area.”

When the new treatment system is completed, waste water from the hatchery’s 104 raceways, which will produce 2 million trout this year, will be diverted into the treatment building and the solids will be spun off from the water. The clean water will flow into the Obey River, and the solids will go into a settling pond, where they will be dried out and given away to local farmers. Currie said local farmers started signing up for the free fertilizer before ground was even broken on the new system.

While construction is taking place, public access to the fishing area below the hatchery has been restricted.

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. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service.  For questions, comments or concerns email us at  For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

The Recovery Act of 2009 provided $280 million for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which included $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  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.  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.

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2010 News Releases.

Last updated: November 29, 2010