Today is the LAST DAY the WDFW will accept comments about the Snider Creek hatchery program on the Sol Duc River. To borrow a phrase from the Headwaters blogger Dr. Sam Snyder, “Either speak up or get off the water.”
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting public comments on the Snider Creek hatchery. The program takes about fifty early returning wild steelhead from the Sol Duc River each year for broodstock in a hatchery run by the Forks Guide Association.
Throughout its history the program has been plagued by low returns, inconsistent smolt quality, and a high degree of residualization raising concern about its impacts on the fragile population of wild early-timed winter steelhead in the Sol Duc. WDFW has outlined a series of potential alternatives for the future of Snider Creek including closing the program and designating the Sol Duc a wild steelhead refuge.
The 2008 statewide steelhead management plan commits the department to the establishment of wild steelhead management areas throughout the state however to date very few hatchery programs have been curtailed. The Sol Duc is home to one of the largest populations of wild steelhead in the state and as such is the perfect choice for a wild only river.
Act now and ask WDFW to protect the Sol Duc River and its unique wild steelhead by discontinuing the Snider Program and other hatchery releases in the basin.