Thursday, February 11, 2010

WDFW Response to Quileute IHN


WDFW is holding a meeting this Saturday February 13th from 10 a.m. to noon at the Forks Sportsmans Club to discuss their response to the Bogachiel/Sol Duc IHN outbreak. The state has announced plans to transfer 130,000 eggs from the Makah Tribal hatchery at Hoko falls. This out of basin transfer of hatchery fish is a blatant violation of guidelines established in the recently adopted Statewide Steelhead Management. The rule was put in place to reduce genetic introgression by out of basin hatchery stocks and to minimize the risk of disease transmission. This is the first test of the new rule against out of basin hatchery transfers and not surprisingly the state went back on their commitment. In their press release WDFW argues that fish at Makah tribal hatchery are, "genetically similar" to those in the Quileute. The ridiculous thing about this assertion is they are Chambers Creek steelhead (a stock originally from the South Puget Sound), meaning they are genetically similar to almost every other winter run hatchery stock in the state. These sort of management actions are extremely frustrating, WDFW is knowingly violating a rule that was put in place to protect wild fish.

Equally distressing is the fact that wild fish collected for the Snider Creek hatchery program will be killed to prevent the spread of IHN.

See this press release from WDFW:
http://wdfw.wa.gov/do/newreal/release.php?id=feb1010a

4 comments:

Gregory said...

Just shameful... these assholes went to school for this?

Big Woolly said...

Who or what will protest this? Can this out-of-basin transfer be prevented? Legal action? Tell us more, please.

Osprey said...

I would encourage readers to contact WDFW and demand they follow their own wild steelhead management plan. A coalition of conservation organizations have joined together in opposition of the out of basin transfer as well as the ongoing boondoggle of the Snider Creek hatchery program. Once the details of that become more concrete we will have a formal call for action and give talking points, contact information, etc. Thanks for all of your interest and dedication to Wild Steelhead and Salmon.

The Osprey

Chris said...

Thanks for the head's up. E-mail's been sent.

Hopefully the state will do the right thing, although there will be tons of pressure to plant out of basin hatchery fish due to economic factors.

Policy is only as good as the willingness to follow it... and the true test is when following policy will be difficult and unpopular.