OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public input on the management plans used by the agency to operate its hatchery production programs in Puget Sound.
The plans, known as Hatchery Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs), describe the operation of each artificial production program for salmon and steelhead in the Puget Sound region and the potential effects of each program on salmon and steelhead species that are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA).
HGMPs are available for 30 chinook, 23 coho, 17 steelhead, five chum, two pink and two sockeye salmon hatchery programs. The plans are available through WDFW's website, or in person through a scheduled appointment at WDFW's Olympia office. An appointment can be scheduled by calling (360) 902-2802, or (360) 902-2701.
WDFW is accepting public comments on the HGMPs for Puget Sound artificial production programs until 5 p.m. on July 18. Comments can be submitted electronically via e-mail (HGMP@dfw.wa.gov), or in writing to:
Dr. Jeff Koenings, Director, WDFW
600 Capitol Way North
Olympia, WA., 98501-1091
Attention: Cheryl McCartney, Fish Program
All comments must be received by WDFW by 5 p.m. on July 18. Public comments, WDFW's response, and any resulting modifications to HGMPs will be posted on the department's website and forwarded to NOAA Fisheries, the federal agency responsible for implementing the ESA.