Salmon & Steelhead Hatchery and Fishery Authorizations

The Endangered Species Act provides several mechanisms for authorizing hatchery operations and salmon fisheries. Not all are "permits," though each mechanism requires compliance with section 7 of the Act. Some Federal actions, such as 4(d) authorizations or section 10 permits, may require additional analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The following information describes the various forms of authorization under the Endangered Species Act.

Section 7 Consultations

Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act is one mechanism NOAA Fisheries uses to authorize hatchery and fishing actions that are funded, authorized, or carried out by a federal agency. Under Section 7, NOAA Fisheries can authorize take that is incidental to the operation of a hatchery program or to the conduct of a fishery.  

Following consultation, NOAA Fisheries issues a biological opinion and an incidental take statement authorizing the incidental take (if appropriate) to the federal agency.

Section 10 Permits

If a hatchery operation (federal or non-federal) purposely takes a threatened or endangered species, then NOAA Fisheries can use Section 10 of the Endangered Species Act to authorize the program.

Issuance of a Section 10(a)(1)(A) or Section 10(a)(1)(B) permit is a federal action that requires consultation under Section 7. As a result, the issuance of either type of Section 10 permit requires that a section 7 consultation also be completed.

Section 4(d) Rules

As provided for in the Endangered Species Act, NOAA Fisheries identified criteria for fishery and hatchery plans that minimize impacts on listed species. If these criteria are met, then additional federal protections are not needed and so, under section 4(d) of the Act, take prohibitions would not apply. This applies to the incidental or direct take of threatened species only. The criteria are identified as “limits.” For a description of submittal instructions, reporting requirements, NOAA Fisheries' review criteria, and authorization and notification processes, please review the 4(d) Rule Implementation Binder( 597kb). 4(d) rules are federal actions that trigger consultation under section 7 of the Act. As a result, a section 7 consultation must be completed prior to making a 4(d) determination.

HGMP Template Instructions 44kb

HGMP Template (5/2/2019 version, 508-ready) 60kb

HGMP Template (8/7/2002 version)  140kb

APR Performance Standards and Indicators

Instructions for Section 4(d) Rule Applications 597kb