Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Columbia DEIS Needs Public Support

Comment today and tell the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) that the public supports the proposals within the DEIS (Draft Environmental Impact Statement) for Columbia River Mitchell Act hatcheries. The plan represents a huge step towards recovering wild salmon and steelhead in the Columbia, and includes measures such as raising performance goals of hatcheries to reduce interactions between hatchery and wild fish, construction of weirs to sort hatchery fish out of important spawning areas, and reducing levels of hatchery supplementation in programs which are deemed to fall short of performance goals. Despite NMFS sincere efforts to create a proposal that balances economic and social demand for hatchery fish and wild recovery, many commercial fishing and tribal interests are opposing the plan. They fear that reductions in the number of hatchery fish released into the Columbia would reduce their share of the harvest.

Unfortunately these vested financial interests fail to see the bigger picture, the Columbia can never reach its full potential as long as endangered wild stocks are mixed in with abundant hatchery returns. Commercial fisheries are open only as long as their "take" on listed stocks remains below an previously established level. Currently hatchery fish on the Columbia outnumber wild 10:1 and huge numbers of hatchery fish straying and spawning in the wild is limiting the productivity and undermining the diversity and resilience of many native stocks.

An article in the Columbia Basin Bulletin about opposition to the plan:

Comment today and tell NMFS you support the full DEIS and wild fish:

Check out a past blog post on the subject:

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