Audit could determine future of NH Fish and Game Department

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A key performance audit of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is set to be released this morning in Concord.

The report that has been in the works since last spring could help determine how much support the cash-strapped agency gets from the state Legislature.

Last year the department asked for $3 million in additional funding. Fish and Game has traditionally been funded by hunting and fishing licenses and federal programs.

Instead of additional funding, Governor John Lynch and the Legislature told the department to reduce spending by not filling vacant jobs.

The report may suggest new ways the state could support the department, such as by funding the retirement benefits of Fish and Game employees.

Supporters of the department point out that it performs many services unrelated to fishing and hunting, including the search and rescue of hikers.

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