Hatchery Plan for Wells Summer Chinook Salmon


Fishing Type
Commercial, Recreational, Subsistence
Action Status
Point of Contact
Natasha Preston at (503) 231-2178 or at natasha.preston@noaa.gov
Affected Species


NOAA Fisheries is making available for public review and comment a Hatchery and Genetics Management Plan (HGMP) for the summer Chinook salmon program located at the Wells Hatchery. The HGMP was submitted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Douglas Public Utility District for approval under Limit 5 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 4(d) Rule.  ESA Limit 5 of the 4(d) Rule allows for state or federal hatchery programs that may encounter ESA-listed species to operate their program with ESA coverage.

The HGMP describes the programs in detail, including monitoring and evaluation to assess performance in meeting conservation and supplementation objectives and their effects on ESA-listed Chinook salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. This program propagates subyearling summer Chinook salmon at the Wells Hatchery in the Upper Columbia River Basin and is an increase in current summer Chinook salmon production at the Wells Hatchery.

Douglas Public Utility District’s existing production of summer Chinook salmon includes 320,000 yearlings and 484,000 subyearling Chinook.  These two programs are implemented under the terms and conditions of ESA Section 10(a)(1)(B) Permit No. 23193. 

The hatchery program is intended to support Southern Resident Orca Recovery and sustainability efforts by increasing the abundance of Chinook salmon, Southern Residents’ preferred prey, in marine waters off Washington State.  This action also supports the recommendation by the Washington State Southern Resident Orca Task Force to increase the abundance of Chinook salmon prey.  In May 2019, Washington State’s Governor Jay Inslee signed into law a spending bill that included direct state funding to increase summer Chinook salmon production at the Wells Hatchery starting in fiscal years 2020 and 2021. 

How to comment

  • Written responses on the HGMP should be addressed to the NMFS Sustainable Fisheries Division, 1201 N.E. Lloyd Blvd., Suite 1100, Portland, OR 97232.
  • Comments may be submitted by e-mail. The mailbox address for providing e-mail comments is: Hatcheries.Public.comment@noaa.gov. Include in the subject line of the e- mail comment the following identifier: Comments on Wells Summer Chinook Hatchery Program.

For more information on this process, please contact Natasha Preston at (503) 231-2178 or by e-mail at natasha.preston@noaa.gov.

For more information on hatchery programs that NOAA Fisheries is evaluating along the West Coast, please visit our hatcheries web page.

Last updated on 01/08/2020