This week the Washington Department of Fish &Wildlife (WDFW) designated the Grays and Chinook rivers as Washington’s newest Wild Steelhead Gene Bank. This decision will transform these rivers into wild steelhead sanctuaries that will forever be free of hatchery steelhead. As a result, these wild steelhead populations will be able to recover and rebuild without the negative impacts of hatchery fish.
This victory is a direct result of your tireless work and determination to rebuild wild steelhead populations in Washington and throughout the West Coast. The hundreds of comments WDFW received from anglers overwhelmingly supporting the creation of this Wild Steelhead Gene Bank sent a loud and clear message that the Grays/Chinook was the clear choice to become Washington’s latest gene bank.
The creation of the Grays/Chinook Gene Bank rounds out the group of four gene banks WDFW plans to create for wild steelhead in the Lower Columbia River Basin. The East Fork Lewis River, the North Fork Toutle/Green River, and the Wind River are the other Wild Steelhead Gene Banks that have been designated in the basin since 2014.
Thank you again for all of your work to protect and rebuild wild steelhead populations. This victory is proof positive of the great things we can accomplish when the wild steelhead community bands together and speaks up!
Send a message to the WDFW and thank them for taking steps to protect wild steelhead! (Thanks to the Native Fish Society for providing this)