Friday, April 4, 2014

Puget Sound Chambers Creek Hatchery Runs Go Bye Bye

Chambers Creek Hatchery Steelhead Photo: Brian Chou

Well after decades of releases into Puget Sound, the Washington Department has decided to end releases of Chambers Creek Steelhead into its streams this year. With a threatened federal lawsuit from the Wild Fish Conservancy, this practice of releasing smolts will end and releases will not occur this Spring. With one million steelhead smolts released every year into Puget Sound Rivers, only about 7000 are caught on their return, leaving countless numbers spawning and competing with now threatened endangered native steelhead. This is a big win for native fish and a big loss to the sports fishery in that area.

 Read more here.

1 comment:

Apocalypse Now, Steelhead said...

I would hardly say its a big loss to the sport fishery in these areas. These hatchery supported fisheries have been limping along for more than a decade, producing a harvest of just a few thousand fish annually at a cost of $200-$900 of taxpayer money per harvested fish. Survival of hatchery fish has been so poor that they have actually resorted to closing rivers to hatchery fish retention to allow them to make their egg take goals. The only way the sport fishery can ever win is by recognizing that healthy populations of wild fish are the backbone of any fishery and behaving accordingly. In ten years if we have catch and release fisheries for wild steelhead on a few Puget Sound rivers no one is going to look back longingly at the days when we had a two month fishery for 4 pound hatchery clones.