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Arizona bill introduced to prohibit fish hatchery closures

PHOENIX -- Arizona congressman Paul Gosar has introduced a bill that would prohibit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from closing fish hatcheries or propagation programs without permission from Congress.

Gosar said the bill would protect jobs and revenue attached to the recreational fishing industry.

The Republican represents the state's 4th Congressional District, which includes west-central and northwestern Arizona.

He introduced the bill Wednesday in Washington, D.C.

The Fish and Wildlife Service said in a report last year that it may have to close some hatcheries in 2015 due to budget cuts.

The Willow Beach National Fish Hatchery, located in Gosar's district, terminated its rainbow trout stocking program earlier this year.

While the Fish Hatchery Protection Act prohibits hatchery closures, it does not provide more funding to help with operational costs.

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