Dungeness Salmon Hatchery Programs

NOAA Fisheries has made its final determination that implementation of three Resource Management Plans for salmon hatchery programs in the Dungeness River watershed of Puget Sound, Washington State, will not appreciably reduce the likelihood of survival and recovery of salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act.

These hatchery plans describe the propagation of ESA-listed Chinook salmon ESA-listed Chinook salmon and non-listed coho and fall-run pink salmon into the Dungeness River watershed.  All three programs release fish native to the Dungeness River basin.

The plans were submitted in January 2013, with a request for their review as joint state/tribal resource management plans under the ESA 4(d) rule, limit 6.  NMFS published notice of its proposed evaluation and pending determination on the plans, and of a draft environmental assessment, for public review and comment on February 20, 2015 (80 FR 9260). During the public comment period, NMFS received two comment letters.  None of the comments raised issues that required substantive modification of the proposed evaluation or environmental assessment.   The comments and NMFS’ detailed responses are available below, as an appendix to the environmental assessment.

The plans include monitoring and evaluation to assess the programs' performance in meeting conservation and harvest objectives and their effects on ESA-listed Chinook salmon, summer chum salmon, and steelhead. The proposed hatchery programs are consistent with the Dungeness River chapter of the Shared Strategy for Puget Sound and the Hood Canal Summer Chum Plan.

For more information, please contact Tim Tynan, Sustainable Fisheries Division, at (360) 753-9579.