Draft EIS – 5 Puget Sound Early Winter Steelhead Hatchery Programs

Public Comment Period

Comment period closed (August 13, 2015)

NOAA Fisheries is obtaining information necessary to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for five Hatchery and Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs) for steelhead in Puget Sound.  To facilitate the public's involvement in this initial step, 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.  The comment period ran from July 15, 2015, through August 14, 2015.  NOAA Fisheries also held two public workshops, on July 20, 2015, in Mt. Vernon, Washington, and on July 21, 2015, in Lynnwood, Washington.

The plans specify the propagation of early-returning (“early”) winter steelhead in the Dungeness, Nooksack, Stillaguamish, Skykomish, and Snoqualmie River watersheds in Washington State.  The plans were provided by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the Lummi Nation, the Nooksack Tribe, the Stillaguamish Tribes, and the Tulalip Tribes for NOAA Fisheries' evaluation and determination under Limit 6 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) 4(d) Rule for threatened salmon and steelhead.

NMFS had previously provided a draft environmental assessment of the effects of three of the five programs for public review and comment.  Relevant comments received on that prior assessment will also be considered in developing the EIS.

For more information on this process, please contact Steve Leider, NMFS Sustainable Fisheries Division, at steve.leider@noaa.gov, (360) 753-4650.