Make the McKenzie Connection!

Do fish hatcheries have a future?

ODFW is hosting sessions to review current and future operations

Fish and fishing are a part of Oregon’s heritage. The future, however, is becoming increasingly uncertain as both wild and hatchery fish are being negatively impacted by a changing climate and ocean. With that in mind, the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) is looking ahead to chart a sustainable future for Oregon’s hatcheries. As a start, the public is invited to a meeting on June 27th to learn more about the process the agency is using to thoroughly review the state’s hatcheries and plan for the future.

Hatcheries in Oregon produce 35 million salmon and steelhead, and 5 million trout for release into Oregon rivers and lakes. Some of these releases rely on additional facilities operated by tribes, the Salmon and Trout Enhancement Program (STEP), and other local entities.

Climate change and aging hatchery infrastructure, combined with increasing costs are also making it more difficult for Oregon’s hatchery system to meet fishery and conservation goals. Officials say those challenges are going to increase in the future.

The overall plan calls for completing a range of economic, infrastructure, and biological assessments to complement analyses and assessments that ODFW staff are compiling. Officials hope sharing this information with the public will contribute to “a sustainable hatchery system that continues to support rural underserved communities, provides Oregonian's fishery opportunities, and is a good neighbor to wild fish.” ODFW says it will also be working with Oregon’s Tribes to ensure their perspectives are heard and incorporated.

The June 27th meeting will run from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the ODFW Salem Headquarters’ Commission Room. However, due to space limitations, the public is encouraged to join the online Teams meeting or call in to 1-503-446-4951 (conference ID 294-092-605#) or join online: tinyurl.com/3wym3nt6; Meeting ID: 215 125 168 707; Passcode: bcTYnD

The public kick-off meeting will be followed by a series of recorded, informational webinars in August on the third-party assessments of the operations, sustainability, and climate vulnerability of state-owned hatcheries. Dates for these webinars and other information will be coming soon. For more information, go to: tinyurl.com/4297ftt5

 

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