Winter Chinook Programs at Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued one Endangered Species Act (ESA) permit for hatchery operations at Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery in the Upper Sacramento River Basin. The permit was issued to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA, which permits hatchery programs intended to enhance the propagation and survival of an ESA-listed species.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service operates two interrelated programs at Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery: 

  1. The Winter Chinook Integrated-Recovery Supplementation Program, and
  2. The Winter Chinook Captive Broodstock Program

The programs at Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery contribute to the recovery of the endangered Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon evolutionarily significant unit (ESU). Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon are part of our “Species in the Spotlight: Survive to Thrive” initiative. The 5-Year Action Plan for Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon outlines efforts vital for stabilizing the population and preventing extinction. One such effort is the reintroduction of winter-run Chinook salmon into historical and restored habitats, which likely wouldn’t be possible without the hatchery programs at Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery. Additionally, the Final Recovery Plan for Central Valley Chinook Salmon and Steelhead states that Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery “…is expected to play a continuing role as a conservation hatchery to help recover winter-run Chinook salmon.”

These two programs are described in separate Hatchery and Genetics Management Plans (HGMPs) submitted to NMFS for review and authorization. The HGMPs describe the programs in detail, including monitoring and evaluation to assess performance in meeting conservation and supplementation objectives and their effects on ESA-listed Chinook salmon and steelhead.  The HGMPs were submitted as part of an application for one ESA Section 10(a)(1)(A) permit in 2016. NMFS published notice of availability of the HGMPs for public review and comment on August 22, 2016 (81 FR 56603).  NMFS did not receive any comments during the comment period.

The permit authorizes annual take of adult and juvenile Sacramento River winter-run Chinook salmon, Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon, and California Central Valley steelhead through broodstock collection activities, hatchery operations, juvenile fish releases, and monitoring and evaluation activities associated with the operation of the hatchery programs. The permit will expire on December 31, 2027.

For more information, please contact Amanda Cranford, California Central Valley Office, at Amanda.Cranford@noaa.gov or (916) 930-3706.

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