Analysis: Fish and energy needs clash - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Analysis: Fish and energy needs clash

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri utility regulators claim electric customers could be on the hook for the cost of improved trout fishing in northern Arkansas.

A federal project would change the flow of water from two Army Corps of Engineers dams that form Bull Shoals and Norfork lakes along the Arkansas-Missouri border. The intent is to improve the habitat for trout below the dams.

But the change also would reduce the capacity to produce hydropower at a plant owned by The Empire District Electric Co. on Lake Taneycomo near Branson.

The federal Southwestern Power Administration proposed in January to reimburse Empire $41 million for the lost energy-production capacity. It revised that last month to $22 million. Missouri utility regulators say that would shortchange Empire's customers in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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