Posts Tagged ‘hatcheries’

Council Comments on Mitchell Act Hatcheries

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

The Council has written a letter to National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on the management of Mitchell Act hatcheries, which were built to compensate for the impacts of the Columbia Basin hydropower system on salmon and steelhead.  The Council sent a letter on NMFS’ draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on Columbia basin hatchery operations and funding to NMFS Regional Administrator Will Stelle on Monday.

The NMFS process will affect future policy direction for salmon production in the Columbia Basin. The Council discussed the DEIS at its September and November meetings, heard public testimony and feedback from its advisory bodies, and drafted a letter containing several critiques of the DEIS, as well as specific recommendations for changes and updates in the DEIS prior to it being used as the foundation for decision making. In particular, the Council noted that the preferred alternative did not meet the Mitchell Act’s original intent and purpose, which was to address the environmental impacts and loss of salmon and steelhead spawning habitat and productivity due to the Columbia River hydropower system. The Council recommended that alternatives include options for increased hatchery production, which the Council believes can be done in a manner consistent with wild stock rebuilding, given current technologies and additional funding. The Council urged NMFS to maintain its commitments to the people and communities that depend on Columbia Basin salmon by continuing to support Mitchell Act hatcheries.

The letter is available here.