Tuesday, August 11, 2015

If You Care About Wild Steelhead

We have great opportunity to rebuild and sustain wild steelhead populations in the rivers of Washington's Puget Sound.  As a supporter of  Wild Steelheaders United, we encourage you to speak up by August 13th
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will be setting aside some Puget Sound rivers to be managed exclusively for wild steelhead.  These rivers -- “wild steelhead gene banks” – will not receive hatchery steelhead plants.  The purpose is to provide strongholds for wild steelhead where they have the potential to be self-sustaining. 
Importantly, fishing is allowed on rivers designated as gene banks if a fishery can be structured that maintains the health of the wild steelhead population.
Establishment of wild steelhead gene banks is required by Washington’s Statewide Steelhead Management Plan, adopted by the Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2008.  In 2012, the Sol Duc and Clearwater rivers on the Olympic Peninsula were the first gene banks designated and several more have been designated in southwest Washington.
Recommend the entire Skagit, Elwha and Puyallup river basins as wild steelhead gene banks

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