Lower Columbia Conservation And Sustainable Fisheries Plan
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Lower Columbia Conservation And Sustainable Fisheries Plan

Category: Hatcheries - Hatchery Reports

Date Published: December 04, 2015

Number of Pages: 365


Public can comment on lower Columbia hatchery reform plan

The public is invited to comment on a new plan designed to align state fisheries and hatchery operations to support the recovery of wild salmon and steelhead populations in the lower Columbia River Basin.

The Lower Columbia Conservation and Sustainable Fisheries Plan was jointly produced by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board (LCFRB). It outlines management strategies for the basin that have been put into action since 2009, as well as those proposed for the future,

Public Comments

Comments may be submitted to info@lcfrb.gen.wa.us or by postal mail to: LCFRB, 2127 8th Ave, Longview, WA 98632.  Comments are due by January 22, 2016.

Current strategies range from increasing the use of wild fish for hatchery broodstock to suspending production of hatchery steelhead on rivers designated as "wild steelhead gene banks."

These and other initiatives described in the plan are specifically designed to minimize risks to wild salmon and steelhead populations posed by hatchery fish and hatchery operations. Known hazards include interbreeding, disease, and competition for spawning areas, as well as hatchery structures that block the movement of wild fish upstream.

The new management plan is based on the statewide Hatchery and Fishery Reform Policy adopted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2009. It also reflects the findings of the Hatchery and Scientific Review Group (HSRG), established by Congress to guide state hatchery reform efforts.


Operated to mitigate for the impacts hydroelectric dams and habitat losses, Lower Columbia salmon and steelhead hatcheries have helped to sustain commercial, sport and tribal fisheries in the Columbia River and its tributaries and in the Pacific Ocean from California to Alaska. However, past hatchery and harvest practices have also contributed to the decline of natural origin salmon and steelhead populations, many of which are now threatened with extinction.

The Conservation and Sustainable Fisheries (CSF) Plan sets forth a comprehensive plan of action for Lower Columbia hatchery and harvest programs. The goal of this plan is to support efforts to return natural origin lower Columbia salmon and steelhead to healthy, harvestable levels while sustaining important fisheries. It sets forth strategies, actions, and management practices that Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will use in maintaining and operating its Lower Columbia hatcheries and in managing related fisheries.