The Washington Department of Fish Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting public comments on two options for establishing a wild steelhead gene bank in rivers and streams near the mouth of the Columbia River.
One option would eliminate production of hatchery winter steelhead on the Grays and Chinook rivers. The other would prohibit production of hatchery steelhead on Mill, Abernathy and Germany creeks. Both options would help preserve wild steelhead populations by reducing competition with hatchery-raised steelhead in tributaries to the lower Columbia River Basin.
Background information on the two potential sites and on the selection process is available below. WDFW has extended the comment period on those options until Feb. 26, 2016. Comments may be submitted to TeamVancouver@dfw.wa.gov
The proposed gene bank in the coastal area is the last of four steelhead gene banks currently scheduled in tributaries to the lower Columbia River. The others were established in 2014 on the East Fork Lewis, the North Fork Toutle/Green, and Wind rivers.