Withdrawn Puget Sound Hatcheries Draft Environmental Impact Statement

In July 2014, NOAA Fisheries released its draft EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) addressing Puget Sound hatchery programs.  In March 2015, NOAA Fisheries withdrew the draft EIS, following notice by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Puget Sound treaty tribes (referred to as co-managers) clarifying their intent to submit revised joint resource management plans (RMPs) bundled by watershed. NOAA Fisheries' withdrawal of the draft  EIS effectively terminated the approach of bundling more than one hundred hatchery programs across Puget Sound into a single analysis.

NOAA Fisheries will replace the draft EIS with environmental reviews of Puget Sound hatchery programs (i.e., environmental assessments and environmental impact statements), generally on a watershed-specific basis. The co-managers have indicated that they are revising their joint RMPs to reflect this new watershed-scale approach and will continue to submit their revised plans to NOAA Fisheries for review under NOAA Fisheries' Endangered Species Act ยง4(d) regulations (50 CFR 223.203). Details of the preferred approach are given in the Frequently Asked Questions, below.

Typically, NMFS would share the comments received on the draft EIS and our responses to those comments when releasing the final EIS.  Because the draft EIS has been withdrawn, comments we received on the draft EIS are available below.

To view any Puget Sound Hatchery Plans currently available for public review and comment, please visit our Hatcheries page.

For more information, please contact Steve Leider at (360) 753-4650.


Frequently Asked Questions about the withdrawal (updated April 15, 2015) (28kb)

Federal Register Notice of Withdrawal (177kb)

Puget Sound Draft EIS (22.0MB)

Comments received on draft EIS (14.5MB)