The fish are swimming for at least another month at the DC Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service delayed the closing of the hatchery. "They said that we will not be closing October 2013, but they were very vague on, if we would close, when that would be," said April Gregory, executive director of Booth Society.
The nonprofit Booth Society isn't done yet. Gregory says Booth Society has set up in both city park and Downtown Friday nights in Spearfish. "We're down here to promote awareness and make it easy for people to sign letters and show their support in keeping the hatchery open," said Gregory.
More than 6,000 letters have been sent during the campaign, that doesn't even count the ones collected Friday. People gathered at the Booth Society table Friday night, signing eight letters. "To the elected delegates of South Dakota, but also to The Fish and Wildlife employees, the people who are behind the decision," said Gregory.
Gregory says the letters to South Dakota delegates address the economic effects of closing the hatchery, and the letter to Fish and Wildlife talks about the youth educational programs that the hatchery offers. "We have won a small battle, but we have not yet won the war. So we're hoping to send more and more letters of support," said Gregory.
Gregory says people can't let this issue die, and that every letter – from and young and old – counts.
The official closing of the hatchery is still not confirmed.