The Puget Sound Steelhead Advisory Group was created to promote inclusive and respectful discussions leading to a broadly supported and durable vision for Puget Sound steelhead populations, fisheries, and hatchery programs. The advisory group process is intended to address the root causes of previous conflicts and provide high quality recommendations on the management of Puget Sound steelhead.
Our Mission is to:
Develop a broadly supported vision with forward-looking watershed-specific strategies that provides for the conservation and recovery of steelhead and, in a manner consistent with achieving conservation objectives, a diversity of sustainable recreational fishing opportunities across the rivers of Puget Sound.
Within eight months, we will be successful if we have developed a document for our Puget Sound steelhead, designated as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act, that:
helps preserve a legacy of Puget Sound wild steelhead for future generations by contributing to the conservation and recovery of Puget Sound wild steelhead with fishery and hatchery management aligned with habitat protection and restoration (all-H integration);
is developed through an iterative, coordinated process with feedback from the Puget Sound Steelhead Recovery Team;
has sufficient flexibility to be compatible with the recovery plan adopted by NOAA Fisheries;
describes a path toward diverse and sustainable recreational fishing opportunities, with benchmarks to assess our progress;
recognizes the importance of steelhead and sustainable steelhead fisheries to our rural communities, preservation of our cultural heritage, and state economy;
is informed by our scientific understanding of steelhead and the factors affecting their abundance, productivity, diversity, and spatial structure;
promotes greater understanding of steelhead populations through an experimental approach, and recognizes that adaptive management will be required to be successful;
is not constrained by previous fishery and hatchery management approaches;
identifies, considers, and where possible, addresses the major factors limiting the abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity of Puget Sound steelhead;
identifies watershed-specific strategies for fisheries and artificial production programs designed to achieve specific seasons and fishery types in a manner consistent with achieving conversation objectives;
provides estimates of the funding necessary to implement the strategies;
enjoys broad support among stakeholders interested in steelhead, including anglers and those interested in steelhead as a part of the Puget Sound ecosystem; and
identifies subsequent action steps with comanagers, legislators, NOAA Fisheries, and stakeholders necessary to implement the plan.
Legal and policy considerations for fishery and artificial production strategies include the following:
U.S. v. Washington, the Endangered Species Act, federal and state court decisions, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife statutes in Title 77, and other statutes;
the policy guidance of the Hatchery and Fishery Reform policy (C3619) and the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan;
the strategies and actions of the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan; and