Final EIS for Five Early Winter Steelhead Hatchery Programs in Puget Sound

NOAA Fisheries has completed its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the potential approval of five hatchery and genetic management plans for early-returning (“early”) winter steelhead hatchery programs in Puget Sound in Washington State.

The plans specify the propagation of early winter steelhead in the Dungeness, Nooksack, Stillaguamish, Skykomish, and Snoqualmie River watersheds in Puget Sound.  The plans were submitted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Tribe, the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, and the Tulalip Tribes for NOAA Fisheries' evaluation and determination under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which is the federal action being considered in this FEIS. The plans have been submitted for approval as resource management plans under Limit 6 of the Endangered Species Act 4(d) rules for listed salmon and steelhead.

NOAA Fisheries provided a draft EIS for public review and comment on November 13, 2015.  In developing a final EIS, NOAA Fisheries considered public comments on the draft EIS, and identified a preferred alternative. The preferred alternative is similar to the proposed action—that is, hatchery production would be the same as under existing conditions except that the number of steelhead released into the Skykomish River basin would be reduced by 34 percent. Monitoring an adaptive management provisions would apply.

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, NMFS Sustainable Fisheries Division, at steve.leider@noaa.gov, (360) 753-4650.

Final EIS Resources

Draft EIS Resources

NOAA Fisheries obtained information necessary to prepare this DEIS  from public comments received during a public scoping phase.  NOAA Fisheries invited comments from all interested parties to ensure that the full range of issues related to the early winter steelhead HGMPs is identified.

Other Resources

NMFS had previously provided a draft environmental assessment (EA) of the effects of three of the five programs, and a DEIS for all salmon and steelhead programs in Puget Sound for public review and comment. Relevant comments received on those prior reviews are considered in developing the EIS.