Hatchery plans and draft environmental assessment for Deschutes, Hood, Touchet, and Umatilla Rivers
NOAA Fisheries proposes to issue Endangered Species Act (ESA) section 4(d) determinations for hatchery operations in the Hood River, Touchet River, Umatilla River, and Deschutes River basins (see Resources, below).
Before finalizing the determinations, NOAA Fisheries provided the state plans and our proposed determinations on the tribal plans available for public review and comment. In addition, NOAA Fisheries provided for public comment, the draft Environmental Assessment for these hatchery operations and NOAA Fisheries’ determinations.
Two ESA Section (4) Limit 6 determinations may be made for the Hood River Spring Chinook Salmon and Winter Steelhead programs, four Section 4 Limit 5 determinations for the Touchet River Endemic Summer Steelhead, Umatilla River Hatchery Summer Steelhead, Round Butte Hatchery Spring Chinook Salmon, and Round Butte Hatchery Summer Steelhead programs, which allow for state or federal hatchery programs to be operated. These programs propagate Lower Columbia River Chinook salmon, Lower Columbia River steelhead, and Middle Columbia River steelhead, all of which are-ESA listed (Deschutes River spring Chinook salmon are not listed under the ESA).
The hatchery programs are intended to:
- Supplement or support local natural salmon populations;
- Mitigate for fish losses caused by the construction and operation of the dams on the Lower Snake River, mainstem Columbia River, and the Deschutes River; and
- Provide fishing opportunities for states and tribes.
These programs, which are described in separate Hatchery and Genetics Management Plans (HGMPs), were submitted to NOAA Fisheries for review and authorization. These HGMPs describe the programs in detail, including monitoring and evaluation to assess performance in meeting conservation and supplementation objectives and their effects on ESA-listed spring Chinook salmon and steelhead. The HGMPs were submitted for the above-mentioned ESA compliance pathways.