Hatcheries management focus of Monday meeting in Port Townsend

Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND –– The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries Division will hold a public meeting at Fort Worden State Park next week to discuss its draft environmental impact statement on plans for fish hatchery management.

Attendees at the Monday meeting will be able to comment on the statement, which would change the way hatcheries are managed under a pair of plans developed jointly by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Puget Sound treaty tribes.

The plans will affect the North Olympic Peninsula hatcheries on the Dosewallips, Duckabush, Dungeness, Elwha and Hamma Hamma rivers.

The meeting will be in the Chapel Building at Fort Worden, 200 Battery Way, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Meetings continue throughout the week in Lacey, Renton and Sedro-Woolley.

The draft environmental impact statement is posted on the NOAA website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-NOAAEIS.

NOAA Fisheries will accept public comments on the statement through Oct. 23.

The statement studies plans developed over the past decade for managing salmon and steelhead hatcheries along Puget Sound.

A pair of resource management plans that would set guidelines for operations at 133 hatcheries along Puget Sound were drafted by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Puget Sound treaty tribes and were reviewed by NOAA, the agency said last week.

The plans have been in the works since the summer of 2004.

One plan governs hatcheries that produce Puget Sound chinook, while the other addresses programs producing Puget Sound coho, pink, chum and sockeye salmon as well as steelhead.

NOAA will study the plans through the draft environmental impact statement to determine their potential effects on Endangered Species Act-listed and non-listed fish and wildlife species, their habitats, water quality and quantity, socioeconomics and environmental justice.

Alternatives evaluated in the draft statement include continuing current hatchery production, increasing hatchery production and reducing hatchery production.

NOAA Fisheries representatives will discuss the draft statement and answer questions.

Workshop attendees may submit comments by leaving them in the comment box at the meetings.

Comments may also be submitted by email to PShatcheryEIS.wcr@noaa.gov.

Last modified: September 01. 2014 6:37PM
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