Key Issue: Hatchery Reform
The latest from our Elwha River litigation and the next steps in the process.
Today, four conservation groups asked the US District Court for Western Washington to halt planned releases of hatchery coho salmon and steelhead into the Elwha River until the Court has an opportunity to determine whether the releases comply with the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
Take two minutes to send comments to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and let them know it is time to stop our hatchery steelhead addiction and move toward wild steelhead recovery.
As most are aware, dam removal on the Elwha River presents one of the greatest salmonid recovery opportunities in the United States. A Fish Restoration Plan was designed to expedite commercial salmon harvests through large-scale hatchery production, but the levels of hatchery production proposed would greatly impede the recovery of wild-producing salmonids (along with the poorly designed monitoring and adaptive management protocols for the hatchery programs).
A new study reveals that segregated hatcheries may in fact be ineffective at minimizing the impacts on wild steelhead populations.
The Puget Sound steelhead , Oncorhynchus mykiss, was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2007, prompting the initiation of recovery planning. Recovery planning requires, ultimately, the identification of conditions under which the “evolutionary significant unit” (ESU) can be considered to have been recovered and subsequently removed from the list of threatened and endangered species (“de-listed”).