Several projects supported by Senator Byrd spanned the length of his career and included multiple appropriations to upgrade infrastructure or adapt to changing technologies. One of these projects that received continued support was West Virginia’s fish hatcheries and aquaculture centers.
Beginning in the early twentieth century, the state established centers to study fish populations and breed trout and other species for stocking rivers and ponds. The first of these centers was the White Sulphur Springs National Fish Hatchery, founded in 1902 in Greenbrier County. A second hatchery, located at Leetown in Jefferson County, was established in 1930. The Bowden Hatchery, located near Elkins in Randolph County, was started in the early 1960s. All three of these hatcheries, in addition to centers at West Virginia University and other hatcheries established by the state received several appropriations from Congress through Senator Byrd’s efforts.
In large part to continued federal support, delivered by Senator Byrd from the 1960s through 2010, West Virginia’s fish hatcheries continue to operate today, providing stock for state parks and conducting significant research in the environmental studies and aquaculture fields. In his 2001 speech at the Leetown hatchery, Senator Byrd remarked “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Help a man to farm fish and you help to feed the world.”