OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is accepting public comments on the scope and direction of a new management plan currently being developed for Washington steelhead.
The management plan, scheduled for completion in early 2007, will provide a framework for new strategies in areas including hatchery management, fisheries, enforcement, monitoring and education to conserve and restore wild steelhead populations throughout the state.
To lay the groundwork for this plan, WDFW has filed notice of its intent to develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) under the State Environmental Policy Act.
Written comments on this “scoping” notice will be accepted through Jan. 15, 2007. Comments should be addressed to SEPA/NEPA Coordinator, Regulatory Services Section, WDFW Habitat Program, 600 Capitol Way N., Olympia 98501.
A copy of the scoping notice is posted at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hab/sepa/sepa.htm. Written copies may be obtained by calling (360) 902-2700.
Within the framework established by the statewide plan, state and tribal co-managers plan to develop area-specific management strategies for steelhead in seven regions in Washington state. The first area-specific plan, also scheduled for completion in early 2007, will focus on the Puget Sound region, where steelhead have been proposed for listing as “threatened” under the federal Endangered Species Act.