About the Project
In the past 150 years, habitat alterations, hydroelectric development and consumptive fisheries have impacted most of the salmon and steelhead populations in the Pacific Northwest. To mitigate for those impacts, hatcheries have been used to increase the number of fish available for harvest. However, long-term conservation needs of natural salmonid populations and their inherent genetic resources require a re-examination of the role of hatcheries in basin-wide management and conservation strategies.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) initiated a series of hatchery reviews in May 2005 to assure that its hatchery programs in the Northwest are part of a scientifically-sound and integrated strategy — consistent with State, Tribal, and other Federal strategies — for conserving wild stocks and managing fisheries in watersheds within the Region. These reviews are tailored after a successful process recently implemented in Puget Sound and Coastal Washington watersheds. The Service's Hatchery Review Team plans to complete these reviews by the spring of 2010.
The Service’s Hatchery Review Team completed the first of these reviews as a pilot in May 2006, of the Warm Springs National Fish Hatchery; a spring Chinook hatchery located in the Deschutes River Basin of central Oregon. Since then, the team has completed their reviews of all 12 federally-owned hatcheries in the Pacific Region. The Service's Hatchery Review Team (HRT) is currently conducting reveiws of the Lower Snake River Compensation Plan (LSRCP) hatchery programs and facilities in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. See the Reports and Publications page of this website to veiw draft and final reports and supporting documents. Progress reports and announcements of upcoming meetings can be found on the Stakeholder News page of this website.
"Our goal is to ensure that our hatcheries are operated on the best scientific principles and contribute to sustainable fisheries and the recovery of naturally spawning populations of salmon," said Dan Diggs, retired Assistant Regional Director of the regional fisheries program.
The Hatchery Review Team, comprised of Service and other federal scientists (NOAA & USGS) are conducting field tours with hatchery managers and their staffs, reviewing hatchery operations, and meeting with the comanaging agencies and tribes to gain a clear understanding of the goals for and status of each wild and hatchery population and associated habitat and management strategies. The Review Team is applying the Puget Sound and Coastal Washington Hatchery Scientific Review Group's scientific framework and hatchery review tools to develop reform recommendations for each hatchery program.
We believe the hatchery review process developed in western Washington has provided both a solid template and operational tools (e.g., software spreadsheets, population dynamic models) for reviewing Service hatcheries in the Columbia River Basin and on the Olympic Peninsula. We also have found that much of the background information necessary for reviewing Service hatcheries in the Pacific Region has already been compiled in Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans, Comprehensive Hatchery Management Plans and the Artificial Propagation Review and Evaluation (APRE) database developed by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NWPCC).
More information about this review contact Don Campton at 503-231-2386 or by e-mail at don campton @fws.gov. This website will be updated periodically so that you can monitor the progress of these reviews.