Author(s): Hatchery Evaluation and Assessment Team
ABSTRACT: A growing body of scientific research has shown that wild populations of salmon and steelhead can be negatively impacted due to interactions with their hatchery reared counter parts, which has spurred the need for hatchery reform. In 2011, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) created the Puget Sound Hatchery Action Advisory Committee (PSHAAC) to help guide the prioritization of hatchery reform actions needed to reduce the risks posed by the state’s hatchery operations in the Puget Sound region. The PSHAAC met monthly beginning in July of 2011and continued through April of 2012. The group was provided with information regarding the status of natural populations of salmon and steelhead as well as the performance and economic benefits of hatchery programs throughout the Puget Sound. Based on these data, the PSHAAC suggested population designations to help set hatchery reform standards and recommended watersheds in which hatchery fish should not be released, and would be designated Wild Salmonid Management Zones (WSMZs). The recommendations provided by the PSHAAC are being used by the Department in on-going Hatchery Action Implementation Plan (HAIP) discussions as well as in development of Hatchery Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) with the tribal Co-managers to help refine management goals for hatchery fish programs in watersheds throughout the Puget Sound region. WDFW hatchery programs, and all other Co-manager operated hatchery programs within the State of Washington, are operated under U.S. v Washington (1974). This legal basis for Co-management of salmon in Puget Sound is also based on the Puget Sound Salmon Management Plan (PSSMP), which was developed by the Co-managers and adopted as an order of the Federal court in 1985.