WALTERVILLE, Ore. — Communities along the McKenzie River came together Saturday for a BBQ to support the continuance of the Leaburg Fish Hatchery in Walterville.
Governor Kate Brown still has not signed House Bill 5050 for the funding of just over $1 million for the hatchery to remain open, but organizers hope Saturday’s event will be the final show of support the hatchery needs to clear that hurdle.
House Representative Ceydric Hayden says last legislative session, they were able to get short term funding for the hatchery. This session, they want to make it permanent.
“If it is veto'd, that will shutter the hatchery for sure," said Rep. Hayden. "So, this is the last hurdle we want to get through. I've been working with my legislative colleagues to make sure that doesn't happen."
Other community members have stepped out Saturday to express the hatchery's importance to the state of Oregon.
“This hatchery fulfills the responsibilities for other hatcheries around Oregon," said Sean Davis, a community member. "Because the waters get warmer in the summer and their water levels go down. That doesn't happen with the McKenzie, because of the unique gnathology,”
The bill for funding is a bipartisan effort, and will go into effect if it's signed any time before August 9th.