In 2004, the Director
of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife challenged the agency
to develop a scientific foundation for a Statewide Steelhead Management Plan
scientific foundation for the SSMP comes from the Department’s steelhead science
mykiss: Assessment of Washington State’s Anadromous Populations and
Programs” (Draft February 2, 2008), which provided several findings and recommendations to
rebuild Washington’s wild stocks. The findings and recommendations represent the
underpinnings of the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan.
complete Management Plan - [PDF Format]
The steelhead management plan is necessary because in spite of seventy years of conservation
efforts directed at the state’s steelhead stocks, many of these stocks are at a fraction of their
historic numbers. Five of the seven distinct population segments that exist in Washington are
currently federally listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Public review of O mykiss and the SSMP as well as comments and concerns expressed during the
SEPA process contributed to the management plan. The plan provides a framework of policies,
strategies, and actions that present overarching guidelines for department managers to
collaborate with tribal co-managers and other interested parties, including watershed and
regional groups, in the development of watershed and regional management plans (RMPs).
RMPs will identify the long-term goals, benchmarks for modifications to management actions,
escapement objectives, and the expected trajectory for the diversity, spatial structure,
productivity, and abundance of each wild stock within its management area.
Policies, strategies and actions in the plan apply to steelhead program operations as well as
administration. Steelhead operations include chapters dealing with natural production, habitat
protection and restoration, artificial production, and fisheries management. These chapters
explain how the Department will deal with steelhead and their habitats and are strongly
Steelhead administration includes policy decisions that affect the administration of operations
programs related to steelhead and their habitats. These chapters provide guidance to the
Department for decisions affecting regulatory compliance, monitoring, evaluation and adaptive
management, research and outreach & education programs. Their implementation increases the
probability of success for the operations policies.
A summary of the policies for each chapter can be found under Goals and Policies following the
Introduction. The Policy Statement for each chapter is shown in a box at the beginning of the
chapter. Each chapter contains a short narrative followed by the strategies and actions to support
achieving the goals and policies.