Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Northwest Fishletter: Judge Sides with Native Fish Society on Sandy Hatchery

This spring, judge Ancer Haggerty chose to walk a tenuous middle ground when he denied a temporary restraining order requested by the Native Fish Society and their partners the McKenzie Flyfishers that would have kept ODFW from releasing hatchery origin spring chinook this year. Based on his concerns over the inadequacy of the Sandy River Biological Opinion (BiOp), he did however order that they release only 132,000 spring Chinook smolts, far fewer than the typical 300,000. 

However, his concerns over the legal validity of NOAA's BiOp for the Sandy River remain strong and Judge Haggerty recently explained that unless something major changed on the governments end, the plantiffs would likely win their argument that the government's environmental assessment of the impacts of the Sandy hatchery are inadequate. 

Spring chinook in the Sandy are critically endangered and at present as many as 76% of  fish spawning in the Sandy are of hatchery origin, posing a major threat to the productivity, diversity and long term resilience of the population. To date ODFW has offered no credible plan for reducing the number of hatchery fish spawning in the basin. 

More information in the Northwest Fishletter:

and from the Native Fish Society:

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