Columbia River Hatchery Reform System-Wide Report.

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The US Congress funded the Puget Sound and Coastal Washington Hatchery Reform Project via annual appropriations to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) beginning in fiscal year 2000. Congress established the project because it recognized that while hatcheries have a necessary role to play in meeting harvest and conservation goals for Pacific Northwest salmonids, the hatchery system was in need of comprehensive reform. Most hatcheries were producing fish for harvest primarily to mitigate for past habitat loss (rather than for conservation of at-risk populations) and were not taking into account the effects of their programs on naturally spawning populations. ... continued below

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278 pages

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Warren, Dan April 16, 2009.

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Description

The US Congress funded the Puget Sound and Coastal Washington Hatchery Reform Project via annual appropriations to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) beginning in fiscal year 2000. Congress established the project because it recognized that while hatcheries have a necessary role to play in meeting harvest and conservation goals for Pacific Northwest salmonids, the hatchery system was in need of comprehensive reform. Most hatcheries were producing fish for harvest primarily to mitigate for past habitat loss (rather than for conservation of at-risk populations) and were not taking into account the effects of their programs on naturally spawning populations. With numerous species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), conservation of salmon in the Puget Sound area was a high priority. Genetic resources in the region were at risk and many hatchery programs as currently operated were contributing to those risks. Central to the project was the creation of a nine-member independent scientific review panel called the Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG). The HSRG was charged by Congress with reviewing all state, tribal and federal hatchery programs in Puget Sound and Coastal Washington as part of a comprehensive hatchery reform effort to: conserve indigenous salmonid genetic resources; assist with the recovery of naturally spawning salmonid populations; provide sustainable fisheries; and improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of hatchery programs. The HSRG worked closely with the state, tribal and federal managers of the hatchery system, with facilitation provided by the non-profit organization Long Live the Kings and the law firm Gordon, Thomas, Honeywell, to successfully complete reviews of over 200 hatchery programs at more than 100 hatcheries across western Washington. That phase of the project culminated in 2004 with the publication of reports containing the HSRG's principles for hatchery reform and recommendations for Puget Sound/Coastal Washington hatchery programs, followed by the development in 2005 of a suite of analytical tools to support application of the principles (all reports and tools are available at www.hatcheryreform.us). In 2005, Congress directed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-Fisheries (NOAA Fisheries) to replicate the Puget Sound and Coastal Washington Hatchery Reform Project in the Columbia River Basin. The HSRG was expanded to 14 members to include individuals with specific knowledge about the Columbia River salmon and steelhead populations. This second phase was initially envisioned as a one-year review, with emphasis on the Lower Columbia River hatchery programs. It became clear however, that the Columbia River Basin needed to be viewed as an inter-connected ecosystem in order for the review to be useful. The project scope was subsequently expanded to include the entire Basin, with funding for a second year provided by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) under the auspices of the Northwest Power and Conservation Council's (NPCC) Fish and Wildlife Program. The objective of the HSRG's Columbia River Basin review was to change the focus of the Columbia River hatchery system. In the past, these hatchery programs have been aimed at supplying adequate numbers of fish for harvest as mitigation primarily for hydropower development in the Basin. A new, ecosystem-based approach is founded on the idea that harvest goals are sustainable only if they are compatible with conservation goals. The challenge before the HSRG was to determine whether or not conservation and harvest goals could be met by fishery managers and, if so, how. The HSRG determined that in order to address these twin goals, both hatchery and harvest reforms are necessary. The HSRG approach represents an important change of direction in managing hatcheries in the region. It provides a clear demonstration that current hatchery programs can indeed be redirected to better meet both conservation and harvest goals. For each Columbia River Basin Environmentally Significant Unit (ESU), Distinct Population Segment (MPG) or Major Population Group (MPG) reviewed, the HSRG presents its findings and recommendations in the form of an HSRG solution. This package of recommended changes to current hatchery and harvest program design and operation is intended to demonstrate how the programs could be managed to significantly increase the likelihood of meeting the managers goals for both harvest and conservation of the ESU/DPS/MPG. The 'HSRG solution' also highlights the biological principles that the HSRG believes must form the foundation for successful use of hatcheries and fisheries as management tools.

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278 pages

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  • Related Information: document dated February 2009

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  • Report No.: P111404
  • Grant Number: 14390 REL 4
  • DOI: 10.2172/962411 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 962411
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc929612

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Creation Date

  • April 16, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 6, 2016, 7:47 p.m.

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Warren, Dan. Columbia River Hatchery Reform System-Wide Report., report, April 16, 2009; Portland, Oregon. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc929612/: accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.