Methow Spring Chinook Hatchery Programs

NOAA Fisheries has issued four (4) Endangered Species Act (ESA) permits for hatchery operations in the Upper Columbia River and the Methow Subbasin tributaries (see Resources, below).  The four permits were issued 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 programs propagate spring Chinook salmon in the Upper Columbia River Spring Chinook Salmon Evolutionarily Significant Unit (ESU).

The hatchery programs are intended to:

The two programs are described in separate Hatchery and Genetics Management Plans (HGMPs) submitted to NMFS for review and authorization.  These 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 spring Chinook salmon and steelhead.  The HGMPs were submitted as applications for ESA section 10(a)(1)(A) permits in 2010 (with updates in 2016) and in 2012.  NMFS published notice of availability of the HGMPs for public review and comment on December 10, 2013 (78 FR 74116) and on April 18, 2016 (81 FR 22580).  NMFS did not receive any comments during either of these comment periods.

Final permits were issued between February 17, 2017, and February 21, 2017, to:

The permits authorize annual take of adult and juvenile Upper Columbia River spring Chinook salmon and Upper Columbia River steelhead through broodstock collection activities, hatchery operations, juvenile fish releases, and monitoring and evaluation activities associated with the operation of the hatchery programs.  The permits expire on December 31, 2027.


Biological opinion PDF Formatted Document 2.7MB

Finding of No Significant Impact/Environmental Assessment PDF Formatted Document 2.0MB


Federal Register notice of issuance (82 FR 17225, April 10, 2017) PDF Formatted Document 168kb