Saturday, December 6, 2008

Wenatchee River acclimation pond

Chelan County PUD, WDFW and TU are all working on building a steelhead acclimation pond on the wenatchee river. Currently they outplant fish raised out of basin and as a result they see very high stray rates. They hope the acclimation pond will bring more hatchery steelhead back into the river, allowing for future fishery openings, see the article here...

The whole logic of this project and the management of the wenatchee river seems perverse. Agencies and utility groups are talking out of both sides of their mouths. On one side they say, "we're opening the river to allow for harvest of hatchery steelhead in order to reduce their impact on the ESA listed wild steelhead." on the other side they say, "we see alot of these hatchery fish straying, we'd like to be able to open the fishery so we will encourage MORE hatchery fish to return to the river." This is not a strategy for recovering wild fish, but instead a way of continuing the status quo by keeping fishing groups quiet while they allow wild fish to go extinct.

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