USGS Fish Laboratory employees out of work until government shutdown ends

Franklin County

Hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been furloughed due to the government shutdown in Washington.

All 16 federal employees at the USGS Fish Laboratory in Turners Falls won’t be able to return to work until the government shutdown is lifted.

The USGS Fish Lab in Turners Falls is right next to the First Light Power Canal on G Street. Branch Chair Adria Elskus told 22News all of the federal employees at the lab, including herself, have not been paid since the shutdown began 18 days ago.

“It’s unnerving and in that facility, we have about 16 federal employees there and a host of graduate students so their graduate projects are also on hold,” said Elskus.

The Fish Laboratory studies several species of migratory fish year round, including American eel and brook trout.

Elskus told 22News three essential employees have been at the lab taking care of the fish and the facility during the shutdown. She said they are required to log their hours, but there is no guarantee they will get paid for their work. 

Elskus said its still unclear whether any of them will receive retroactive pay when the government shutdown ends.

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