NOAA Fisheries has released for comment a Hatchery and Genetics Management Plan for the Wells Hatchery in the Upper Columbia River that would guide the additional production of up to one million subyearling summer chinook salmon to aid in orca recovery.
Oregon and Washington fisheries agencies are continuing their closure of a 17-mile stretch of the mainstem Columbia River upstream of McNary Dam to the state line to steelhead angling and retention through March 31, 2020 due to fears that some hatcheries may not make their steelhead brood stock collection goals. The run of summer steelhead in 2019 is the fifth lowest run size since 1954, when McNary Dam was built near the Oregon town of Umatilla.
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Jan. 10 for the South Fork Walla Walla River Fish Hatchery about 10 miles east of Milton-Freewater, Oregon.
An aquaculture company in Puget Sound has agreed in a settlement with the Wild Fish Conservancy to pay a $2.75 million penalty for a collapse of one of its net pens near Cypress Island in 2016. More than 260,000 non-native Atlantic salmon escaped due to the collapse.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game says it is “well on its way to meeting broodstock goals” for steelhead at Snake, Salmon and Clearwater River hatcheries.
A recent study examining salmon hatchery operations practices in the Salish Sea (Puget Sound) in Washington State for the past 65 years finds that current practices are releasing juvenile salmon at a larger size than in the past – a size preferred by predators – and with decreasing diversity. It calls for a consideration of modifying hatchery programs to allow for more diversity by reducing this size homogenization.
Two of the scientists who reviewed the phase 1 report that assesses the feasibility of reintroducing salmon and steelhead upstream of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams told the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Wednesday that a cost analysis should be incorporated early in the process and in a stepwise fashion if the effort is to move forward.
A Northwest tribe will begin construction of new hatchery rearing facilities for spring chinook salmon as soon as December in a first step to reintroduce the fish to the South Fork Walla Walla and Touchet rivers, both in the Walla Walla River basin.
NOAA Fisheries has announced 5-year reviews of 17 Pacific Salmon species and 11 steelhead populations listed under the Endangered Species Act.