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For more information on fisheries management, please contact the WDFW Fish Program.
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Steelhead Management Plan State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)
Public Meeting and Scoping Summary

Phase 5 - Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the WDFW Statewide Steelhead Management Plan (SSMP)

The release of the FEIS for the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan occurs on February 29, 2008. The alternatives presented in the FEIS will lay the foundation for decisions on a new WDFW steelhead management strategy. On February 2, 2008, the Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) took public comment on the draft SSMP. These public comments were incorporated in the latest draft of the SSMP contained in the FEIS document, dated February 29, 2008 (see Appendix A).

The SSMP is designed to rebuild wild steelhead populations statewide. The updated plan sets the course for managing steelhead populations in a time of environmental uncertainty, in particular, global warming and habitat loss. WDFW needs the help of fishers, landowners, and other citizens to achieve the goals set out in the plan.

The availability of functional habitat is the principal factor affecting the health of the wild steelhead populations. NOAA Fisheries citied habitat degradation as the principal factor limiting the viability of Puget Sound steelhead and sustainable fisheries do not pose a significant risk to wild steelhead populations (72 FR 26722). WDFW is restructuring hatchery operations where necessary to ensure they do not interfere with wild steelhead populations. The plan also contains strategies intended to achieve benchmarks of the Salmon and Steelhead in the 21st Century Project.

Phase 4 - Preliminary Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the WDFW Statewide Steelhead Management Plan (SSMP)

The release of the Preliminary FEIS for the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan occurs on December 5, 2007.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) released the Draft EIS (DEIS) on August 1, 2007. The DEIS considers potential environmental impacts of changes in fisheries management, hatchery operations, habitat restoration and other practices that may result from adoption of the steelhead management plan. The public meetings occurred in Sequim (8/13), Olympia (8/14), Vancouver (8/15), Mill Creek (8/16), Wenatchee (8/20), Moses Lake (8/21), and Richland (8/22). The comment period was scheduled to close on August 16, 2007 but was extended until September 11, 2007. Approximately 260 written comments were received on the DEIS and SSMP which resulted in 29 modifications or additions, improving the statewide plan. Those changes are reflected in the Preliminary FEIS.

The alternatives presented in the Preliminary FEIS will lay the foundation for decisions on a new WDFW steelhead-management strategy. The Preliminary FEIS is subject to change, pending final Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) approval of the SSMP in early 2008. The FWC is scheduled to hear public comments regarding the Preliminary FEIS on February 1-2, 2008 in Olympia, Washington.

Phase 3 – DRAFT Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the WDFW Statewide Steelhead Management Plan (SSMP)

The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process continues with the release of the DEIS for the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan on August 1, 2007.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has scheduled a series of public meetings in August to gather comments on the DEIS. The DEIS considers potential environmental impacts of changes in fisheries management, hatchery operations, habitat restoration and other practices that may result from adoption of the steelhead management plan.

Developed under provisions of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), the DEIS is posted online at the link below. The latest draft of the steelhead management plan is attached as an appendix to the draft EIS.

WDFW will consider public comments on the DEIS received in writing through Aug. 30, 2007, as well as those received at the public meetings. Written comments should be addressed to SEPA/NEPA Coordinator, Regulatory Services Section, Habitat Program, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501.

Phase 2 – Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Statewide Steelhead Management Plan
Volume 1. Statewide Policies, Strategies, and Actions

The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process began for the Department’s statewide steelhead management plan with a focus on Puget Sound by the release of the Determination of Significance and Request for Comments on Scope of the Environment Impact Statement (EIS). Public meetings took place in August and September of 2006.

On December 22, 2006, WDFW released a new Determination of Significant and Request for Comments on the Scope of EIS for the Steelhead Statewide Management Plan. This plan is a non-project statewide policy proposal, which assesses the potential environmental impacts of policies and strategies designed to improve hatchery, harvest, enforcement, monitoring, and outreach and education actions pertaining to steelhead programs in Washington. At a later date, supplemental Environment Impact Statements (EIS) will be developed at the regional level for steelhead stocks of Washington State, including Puget Sound.

Phase 1 – WDFW Steelhead Science Paper
Oncorhynchus mykiss: Assessment of Washington State’s Anadromous Populations and Programs