OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comment on management plans involving 10 hatchery and cooperative programs that rear and release fish to the Columbia River mainstem or its tributaries.
The plans, known as Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs), describe hatchery programs for salmon and steelhead and the potential effects of each program on salmon and steelhead species that are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The cooperative programs include Fish First and the Cowlitz Game and Anglers organizations, and local government partnerships with Clark Public Utilities in Clark County.
Draft HGMPs that are available for public comment include three chinook, four steelhead and three remote site egg incubation programs for coho salmon. The plans are available on WDFW's website, at http://wdfw.wa.gov/hat/hgmp/, or can be reviewed in person through a scheduled appointment at WDFW's Olympia office. An appointment can be scheduled by calling (360) 902-2802, or (360) 902-2700.
WDFW will accept public comments on the HGMPs until March 21 at 5 p.m. Comments can be submitted via e-mail, at HGMP@dfw.wa.gov, or in writing to:
Dr. Jeff Koenings, Director, WDFW
600 Capitol Way North
Olympia, WA 98501-1091
Attention: Andy Appleby, Fish Program
Public comments, WDFW's response and any resulting modifications to the draft HGMPs will be posted on the department's website and forwarded to NOAA-Fisheries, the federal agency responsible for implementing the ESA.