National Fisherman

A small but feisty fish conservation group is asking a federal judge Wednesday to take the unprecedented action of stopping Oregon's seasonal release of juvenile salmon and steelhead in the Sandy River.

The Oregon City-based Native Fish Society filed suit against Oregon fishery officials and the National Marine Fisheries Service two years ago, contending releases from the Sandy Hatchery harms threatened salmon and steelhead.

On Wednesday it will ask U.S. District Judge Ancer Haggerty to stop the hatchery's releases — scheduled to begin Saturday with 67,000 spring chinook smolts and 735,000 total fish this spring — until the lawsuit is fought in court.

While the debate whether hatchery and wild salmon and steelhead can co-exist has raged along riverbanks and in scientific journals, a broad legal challenge to a hatchery's is rare and asking a judge to stop smolt releases is a first in Oregon.

Started in 1995, the Native Fish Society has a $390,000 yearly budget, a staff of six, 80 volunteers and membership of 700 advocating for the recovery of wild fish and their habitat. Two years ago it started a project examining the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's hatchery practices, first focusing on the Sandy Hatchery. A year later, it filed a suit challenging the hatchery's operation.

Read the full story at the Oregonian>>

Inside the Industry

NMFS has awarded 16 grants totaling more than $2.5 million as part of its Bycatch Reduction Engineering Program.

The program supports the development of technological solutions and changes in fishing practices designed to minimize bycatch and aims to to find creative approaches and strategies for reducing bycatch, seabird interactions, and post-release mortality in federally managed fisheries.


Abe Williams, who was elected to the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association board last spring, has been selected as the new president as of September.

Williams fishes the F/V Crimson Fury, and is president of Nuna Resources, a nonprofit that supports sustainable resource development in rural Alaska, including fighting for an international solution to issues raised by the proposed Pebble Mine project.

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