Petersburg residents have started a letter writing campaign to urge the state to reconstruct the Crystal Lake hatchery facilities destroyed by fire earlier this month.
Crystal Lake is a king and coho salmon facility about 18 miles south of Petersburg. Salmon fry from the hatchery are released near Petersburg and in remote sites closer to Wrangell and Ketchikan. Crystal Lake’s incubation room burnt down March 4th.
The hatchery buildings are owned by the state of Alaska and they’re operated by the Southern Southeast Regional Aquaculture Association. Sally Dwyer and husband Al, former mayor of Petersburg, hope to gather over a thousand letters from area residents to send to Fish and Game Commissioner Cora Campbell, who grew up here. Joe Viechnicki spoke with the Dwyers about their letter campaign.
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Collection boxes have been placed at the library, Wild Celery, Coastal Cold Storage, Petersburg Pilot, visitor information center and Lees Clothing. Dwyer says they’ll be collecting all the letters next Friday, March 28th to send to the capital city in a fish box.