Local fish hatchery good for tourism?

LAKEGEORGE - For two years, downcounty politicians heave threatened to scrap the Warren County Fish Hatchery in Warrensburg.

But fierce lobbying efforts by upcounty sportsmen have saved the rare facility, which not only raises fish to stock area waterways, but features a popular picnic and recreation area for gatherings as well as a destination for environmental science students.

Now, a Queensbury woman - contrary to the position of many politicians from southern Warren county - is single-handedly seeking to boost the fortunes and protect the future of the hatchery.

She's now lobbying to make the historic hatchery an eco-tourist attraction, as well as raise awareness among natural science teachers and boost the facility's status as an educational resource.

"The fish hatchery is really impressive to me, and it's something we shouldn't just let go," she said, noting it is just one of three county-run hatcheries in the state. "We should all appreciate the assets we have locally."

She is also seeking to better and locally utilize the hatchery in an effort to boost local tourism, she said.

"If we promoted it properly and develop its programs, we could put many more 'heads in beds,'" she said.

Farrington said that decades ago she grew up with an orientation toward environmental stewardship, but it was a trip to a well-publicized and busy fish hatchery in tourism destination Branson, Mo. that really fueled her interest in reviving Warren County's similar facility.

At a recent county Board of Supervisors meeting, she lobbied county Tourism director Cate Johnson and county Public Works Superintendent Jeff Tennyson to print brochures about the hatchery, pinpoint it on tourism maps, advertise it on county websites, and erect signs around the county directing visitors to the facility.

Tennyson said Farrington's efforts were welcome.

"Our fish hatchery serves an important role in outdoor sports in Warren County," he said. "We do have the opportunity to create a tourist destination, and it's nice when a member of the public gets excited over it."

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