From Native Fish Society:
Nearly two years of diligent work paid off today as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced that, effective immediately, the East Fork Lewis, Wind and North Fork Toutle / Green Rivers will no longer receive hatchery steelhead plants of any kind. These watersheds will be managed in perpetuity for wild steelhead ensuring that threatened populations will not have to compete with hatchery steelhead in their watersheds.
First, we’d like to thank our River Steward and member participants in the stakeholder group process: Steve Lent, Peter Donahower and Laura Hudson. These folks gave up vacation days, endured long drives and monthly meetings to represent the best interests of wild steelhead. A big thank you to you dedicated three!
We’d also like to thank the dozens of folks that attended the public comment meetings and delivered testimony in Vancouver and Centralia, WA. Your words and presence gave voice to wild steelhead at a critical moment.
Additional thanks to partner organizations including the Clark Skamania Fly Fishers, Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, Lower Columbia River Estuary Group and the Wild Steelhead Coalition as well as the numerous fly shops and blogs that posted meeting info and links driving traffic to the Action Alerts! It certainly takes a village and we’re lucky to have one that continues to grow in support of wild, native fish!
Last, we’d like to thank all of you (nearly 500 folks) who utilized our Action Alert petition system to submit comments in support of these Wild Steelhead Gene Banks in SW Washington. Collectively, your voices from across Washington state, the Pacific Northwest and the country proved that the future of these wild steelhead means something very dear to a great number of people. Thank you all for your support!
River Steward Program Director