Call it the great Fish Hatchery War. The state budget has been held up because Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey is opposed to funding a fish hatchery in Carter County and some Republicans are yelling that “Fish is the New Pork,” calling the project a pork barrel project for House Speaker Kent Williams.
Williams, who is from Carter County, says the cold-water hatchery to produce trout for East Tennessee streams is a tourism project to attract fishermen, and has it in the House version of the budget.
Fishermen in Carter County have their own bumper sticker: “Ron—Kiss My Bass.”
Ramsey is hurting his gubernatorial vote in Carter County, but sees the issue as a help in his statewide race. The fish hatchery is a project long in the works and Williams, in his second year as Speaker, has pledged to finally bring it home to Carter County.
Someone will have to blink in order to pass the state budget.