H.R. 2351: North Cascades National Park Service Complex Fish Stocking Act

H.R. 2351

North Cascades National Park Service Complex Fish Stocking Act

Date
December 6, 2011 (112th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, December 6, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 2351 under a suspension of the rules requiring a two-thirds majority vote for approval.  H.R. 2351 was introduced by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) on June 24, 2011, and was referred to the Committee on Natural Resources, which reported the bill on October 5, 2011, by unanimous consent.

Bill Summary

H.R. 2351 would direct the Secretary of the Interior to authorize the stocking of fish in lakes in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex under certain conditions. Under the bill, fish could be stocked in not more than 42 of the 91 lakes in the North Cascades National Park Service Complex that have historically been stocked with fish. Only fish that are native to the slope of the Cascade Range on which the lake is located and are non-reproducing are authorized to be stocked under the legislation.

The bill would require the Secretary to consider relevant scientific information, including the plan and information gathered from research and monitoring when making fish stocking decisions. The Secretary is required to coordinate the stocking of fish with the State of Washington. Finally, the bill would require the Secretary to continue a research and monitoring program to monitor the impacts of fish stocking on the resources of the applicable unit of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex, and beginning five years after the enactment of the Act and every five years thereafter, submit a report describing the results of the research and monitoring to Congress.

Background

According to House Report 112-160, the bill would ensure the continued stocking of fish in certain alpine lakes in the North Cascades National Park Complex. Many of these lakes have been stocked since the late 1800s, long before they became part of the National Park complex. For decades, volunteer groups, working with the State of Washington, have stocked fish in these lakes under carefully constructed management plans written by State and National Park Service (NPS) biologists. In addition, Congressional consideration of the creation of the North Cascades National Park clearly supported continued fish stocking of these lakes, and identified fishing as an important recreational use.

In 2008, NPS prepared an Environmental Impact Statement on the fisheries in these mountain lakes, and the preferred alternative was to allow continued fish stocking in 42 lakes where the agency concluded there would be no adverse impact on native ecosystems. NPS also requested explicit authority to allow fish stocking to continue within the Park.

H.R. 2351 would protect this longstanding practice of fish stocking in the North Cascades. Many tourists visit the Park for its scenic beauty as well as for its fishing opportunities, making fish stocking an important component of the Central Washington economy.

Cost

According to CBO, “H.R. 2351 would have no significant effect on the federal budget.”