Friday, January 4, 2013

What to Watch in 2013 #3: Columbia River Hatchery Reform

3. The Mitchell Act EIS: In the summer of 2010 the Federal government issued a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) outlining potential alternatives for the way that hatcheries funded by Mitchell Act mitigation money on the Columbia would be operated. The draft EIS included many important changes in hatchery management on the Columbia including reduced hatchery production in areas that are unable to meet the guidelines laid out by the Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG), and the construction of weirs to remove hatchery fish from the spawning population in many tributaries. However, since the draft EIS was issued the federal government has not issued a final determination on the EIS. With the final draft due out early this year, the future of hatchery reform on the Columbia system hangs in the balance.

We will keep you posted on the latest regarding the EIS, in the meantime lets hope that major reform is coming to hatcheries throughout the Columbia and Snake. 

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