Economic Swindle-Us: Air Force To Spend $228,000 On Trout Fishing - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
2/5/2009
11:54 AM
Paul McDougall
Paul McDougall
Commentary
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Economic Swindle-Us: Air Force To Spend $228,000 On Trout Fishing

At a time when OMB has ordered the military to cut its budget, at least one branch of the armed services is telling the number crunchers in Washington to go fish.

At a time when OMB has ordered the military to cut its budget, at least one branch of the armed services is telling the number crunchers in Washington to go fish.While trolling, pun intended, the government databases this morning for juicy IT contracts that our readers might like to know about, I got hooked by this notice for "Hatchery Raised Fish." Strangely, the solicitation was published by the Air Force.

Are they secretly training fish to keep downed planes afloat? Is that what was really behind the Miracle on The Hudson?

Turns out it's nothing so far out. Our winged service, it seems, can't operate its Colorado Springs academy without well-stocked trout lakes. So it plans to spend $228,000 on almost 7 tons of live, "nine- to eleven-inch, whirling-disease negative, rainbow trout" to stock lakes on its grounds and a neighboring recreational area.

According to the documents, the benefactor of this government-gone-wild largesse is an outfit called Crowther's Freshwater Trout, of La Jara, Colo. The plan calls for Crowther's to drop the swimmers into academy lakes every four weeks, from March through October.

And just to make sure they're, uh, not whirling, the contractor must provide the Air Force with copies of fish health inspection reports "from the hatchery of origin." Once declared fit for duty, the fish presumably can begin active service by making themselves freely available for consumption by cadets and colonels alike. Now, I'm all for affording high-quality recreational opportunities to men and women who one day may be asked to put their lives on the line for this country. In fact, I don't think any reasonable expense should be spared -- it's our debt to them. But $228,000 to stock trout ponds? In Colorado? -- home to some of the best natural fishing grounds on the planet? And you thought those $640 toilet seats were a waste of money. Guess it's just another part of the economic swindle-us package.

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