Key Topics Evaluated in the Puget Sound draft EIS

The Puget Sound Hatcheries EIS addresses the following topics that were identified during public scoping:

Salmon and Steelhead

Chinook, pink, sockeye, chum, and coho salmon, and steelhead are found within the project area. How will hatchery operations under the Resource Management Plans positively or negatively affect the distribution, diversity, and abundance of these fish? Are there any hatchery barriers that prevent adult salmon and steelhead from migrating upstream? Are hatchery fish helping to preserve the existence of any salmon or steelhead population? Are the hatchery fish preying upon wild fish and/or competing for their food or space? Are hatchery fish interbreeding with wild fish and making wild fish less able to survive and reproduce? What are the effects of hatchery broodstock collection on wild populations? Are hatchery fish transferring disease to wild salmonids?

Other Fish and Wildlife

Many other fish and wildlife species are found in the project area, including listed bull trout, some marine fish species, Southern Resident Killer Whales, and bald eagles, otters, and gulls. How will hatchery operations under the Resource Management Plans impact these other fish and wildlife species? Will the plans lead to an increase or decrease in the availability of food for these species? Are any predator control practices applied at the hatcheries that may impact wildlife?

Water Quality and Quantity

Hatcheries withdraw and then release water used for fish rearing into streams and rivers. What are the impacts of this effluent on water quality? How does sedimentation associated with net pen operations impact water quality?

Socioeconomics and Tribal Treaty Trust Responsibilities

Puget Sound Treaty Tribes largely depend on hatchery fish for the meaningful exercise of their treaty-guaranteed fishing rights. These fishing rights entitle the tribes to commercial, ceremonial, and subsistence fisheries. How does hatchery production affect fishing by tribes and others? How does hatchery production affect the socioeconomics of other communities?

Human Health

Hatchery operations use several chemicals to control diseases in hatchery fish. These chemicals include formalin and MS222. Are these chemicals used in ways that pose a risk to human health?

Environmental Justice

Will hatchery operations have disproportional impacts on lower income groups?