NMFS proposes Wash. salmon hatchery changes

The National Marine Fisheries Service unveiled today a wide variety of changes proposed for the operation of lower Columbia River hatcheries and their releases of fall chinook, coho and steelhead.

In summary, the changes would result in a moderate reduction in fall chinook production, shift some coho from the lower Columbia River to central Washington and tweak winter and summer steelhead stocks primarily in Southwest Washington streams.

Rob Jones, chief of NMFS’ hatcheries and inland fisheries section, told a conference call the changes are part of a 20-year process to operate hatcheries in a way that do not impede recovery of salmon and steelhead listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

However, the planning for future hatchery programs has been given impetus by a lawsuit from the Wild Fish Conservancy challenging the hatchery operations.

Jones called the proposals “the next generation of hatchery operations.’’ They will be formalized by mid-January.

Read the full story

About the author

Jessica Hathaway

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 13 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

© Diversified Communications. All rights reserved.