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June 05, 1997
Contact: Jeff Weathersby, (360) 902-2256

June 10 public meeting to focus on conserving wild steelhead in Columbia River tributaries

WOODLAND -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will discuss strategies to rebuild declining wild summer steelhead runs in lower Columbia River tributaries at a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Woodland Middle School, 755 Park St.

The focus of the meeting will be finding ways to reduce the number of hatchery steelhead that spawn with wild fish in those tributaries. The department is particularly concerned about the level of hatchery-wild steelhead spawning in the upper Kalama, Lewis (east fork), Washougal (north fork) and Wind rivers. The genetic diversity and long-term productivity of wild steelhead can be compromised when they mate with hatchery fish.

The department also is seeking ideas for short- and long-term conservation measures that would rebuild wild steelhead runs.

The department's draft Wild Salmonid Policy contains five proposed alternatives that are designed to rebuild wild steelhead and salmon runs throughout Washington.