For more than a century, WDFW hatcheries have produced fish for harvest. Today, hatcheries provide the foundation for the state's vastly popular recreational fisheries and the thousands of jobs that depend on them.
But in recent years, hatcheries have taken on an additional new role. They are becoming an essential tool in the conservation of native salmon stocks. Indeed, as far back as 1977, long before any fish species was listed under the Endangered Species Act, a WDFW hatchery was being used to stave off extinction for a spring chinook stock. Presently, about a third of the state's hatcheries are used in some capacity for wild stock conservation work.
To ensure hatcheries can carry out this dual role of wild stock conservation and sustainable fisheries in an environmentally sound manner, WDFW has joined with tribal, federal and private scientists to examine hatchery operations and determine what structural and operational changes are necessary. The goal of this unprecedented collaborative effort, launched in 2000 and facilitated by the non-profit conservation group Long Live the Kings, is to make sure the best available science is developed and applied in the years ahead as hatcheries fulfill their new dual role.
OLYMPIA - The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission today voted to adopt a new state hatchery and fishery reform policy designed to accelerate recovery of wild salmon and steelhead while also supporting sustainable fisheries.
The new policy, which has been under review by the commission and the public since last spring, establishes guidelines for realigning state fisheries and hatchery programs to meet conservation and harvest goals for salmon and steelhead in each watershed. See full story...