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February 05, 2016
Contact: WDFW Region 5 Office, (360) 696-6211

Comment period extended on gene bank
options for wild Columbia River steelhead

OLYMPIA – The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has extended its public comment period on two options for establishing a wild steelhead gene bank in rivers or streams near the mouth of the Columbia River.

WDFW will now consider comments on those options submitted through Feb. 26 to TeamVancouver@dfw.wa.gov. Background information on the two sites is posted on WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/steelhead/gene_bank/columbia_river/

Both options under consideration by the department would support the preservation of wild steelhead populations by prohibiting future releases of hatchery-raised steelhead into specific waters of the lower Columbia River Basin.

One option would eliminate production of hatchery winter steelhead on the Grays and Chinook rivers. The other would prohibit production of hatchery steelhead on Mill, Abernathy and Germany creeks.

The proposed gene bank in the coastal area is the last of four steelhead gene banks currently scheduled in tributaries to the lower Columbia River. The others were established in 2014 on the East Fork Lewis, the North Fork Toutle/Green, and Wind rivers.