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Legislative Committee Tackles Economic Impact Of Fishing And Hunting

Fishing and hunting aren't just recreational sports - they're a big piece of the Northwest economy. That's the focus of a legislative hearing in Walla Walla Friday. Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.

By some accounts recreational fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing accounts for more than $2 billion in spending in Washington each year.

That's no surprise to Verna Foley. She owns and operates the Darver Tackle Shop in tiny Starbuck, Washington not far from the Snake River. She says during fishing season business quadruples.

Verna Foley: “It's been a real, real booster to our economy here in Columbia county that only has two towns in the county - Dayton and Starbuck - and so this income spread in amongst this poor county, it was one of the poorest counties, but it's been a major boost.”

The legislative hearing in Walla Walla is a chance to address issues facing hunters and fishers. There will also be a discussion about how to sustain habitat for fish and wildlife in order to keep the dollars coming in.