Salmon and steelhead hatchery programs that operate in regions with populations listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) need to be evaluated and permitted through the federal government to ensure consistency with the ESA. There are different processes in the ESA that can be followed to allow for this permitting, depending on the hatchery operator and the federal listing designation; ESA section 4(d) or section 10a (1)(A) are common processes used for artificial production programs.
Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans (HGMP)
HGMPs are technical documents that thoroughly describe the composition and operation of each individual hatchery program. The primary goal of an HGMP is to describe biologically-based artificial propagation management strategies that ensure the conservation and recovery of ESA-listed salmon and steelhead populations.
NOAA Fisheries Service, who oversees the ESA for salmon and steelhead, uses the information provided by HGMPs to evaluate impacts on salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act. Completed HGMPs may also be used for regional fish production and management planning by federal, state and tribal resource managers.
Currently, WDFW is in consultation with NOAA Fisheries service for its Puget Sound and Columbia River Basin hatchery operations. WDFW originally submitted more than 100 draft HGMPs to NOAA Fisheries in 2002-2005, and this consultation process will result in final updated versions of these plans being submitted to NOAA Fisheries for permitting and continued operations of our hatchery system.