Pacific Southwest Region
California, Nevada and Klamath Basin

Service Announces New Scientific Review of California Salmon and Steelhead Hatcheries

May 03, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2010
Contact: Erica Szlosek, 916-978-6159

Fish and Wildlife Service Announces New Scientific Review of California Salmon and Steelhead Hatcheries

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Pacific Southwest Regional Director Ren Lohoefener is announcing a new scientific The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Pacific Southwest Regional Director Ren Lohoefener is announcing a new scientific review of all salmon and steelhead hatcheries in California. This review will be conducted in cooperation with the State of California, the National Marine Fisheries Service and Indian Tribes with fishery management responsibilities.

Significant declines in natural salmon and steelhead populations, and associated economic and biological losses, prompted Congress to fund this $2.15 million California-specific initiative. The review is similar to those carried out in the Pacific Northwest over the past six years. Congress initiated the Pacific Northwest review in 2000 because it recognized that while hatcheries play an important role in meeting harvest and conservation goals for Pacific Northwest salmon and steelhead, the hatchery systems in Oregon and Washington were in need of comprehensive reform. During this review, the project’s independent panel of expert scientists, known as the Hatchery Scientific Review Group, reviewed all state, tribal and federal hatchery programs in Puget Sound and Coastal Washington, and in the Columbia River Basin.

A similar review group will now review California hatchery programs. The review will provide tools and recommendations for best management practices of California salmon and steelhead hatcheries to help them  protect, enhance and recover natural salmon populations; maintain a sustainable sport/commercial fishery; and improve cost-effectiveness of hatchery programs for the benefit of future generations of Americans.

The review will start this summer and is anticipated to take about two years to complete.

The hatcheries to be reviewed are:

  • Coyote Valley Fish Facility;
  • Feather River Hatchery;
  • Iron Gate Hatchery;
  • Mad River Hatchery;
  • Merced River Hatchery;
  • Mokelumne River Hatchery;
  • Nimbus Hatchery;
  • Thermalito Annex;
  • Trinity River Hatchery;
  • Warm Springs Hatchery;
  • Coleman National Fish Hatchery;
  • Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery.

Information and reports on the review findings will be posted at: http://hatcheryreform.us/.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.