The public has until Jan. 18 to comment on updated draft management plans for state fish hatcheries on Voights Creek, Hood Canal and Soos Creek.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife is accepting comments on the plans that will be used to guide hatchery operations at those locations.
The plans describe the operations of a state hatchery program for fall chinook salmon in the Puyallup River basin, a program for winter steelhead in Hood Canal and fall chinook salmon in the Green (Duwamish) River basin. The plans also address the potential effects of those programs on wild fish species – including salmon and steelhead – that are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.
The department has updated the draft plans, known as hatchery and genetic management plans, to better reflect current efforts to protect and restore wild salmon in the basin.
Public comments, the department’s response and any resulting modifications to the draft plans will be posted on the department’s website. The finalized HGMPs will be forwarded to NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency responsible for implementing the act.
NOAA Fisheries is working on a final environmental impact statement on the effect of hatchery programs on protected salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River and Puget Sound.
The draft plans are available for review on the agency’s website at wdfw.wa.gov/hatcheries/hgmp or at the department’s office in Olympia. To schedule an appointment to review the plan in person, call 360-902-2782.
Comments on the draft HGMPs can be submitted by U.S. mail to Hatcheries at 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501, or by email at HGMP-PScomments@dfw.wa.gov.