The West Coast Region administers the Mitchell Act Program. The Mitchell Act, which was passed in 1938, currently supports roughly one-third of all of the hatchery production in the Columbia River. Under the Mitchell Act, funding is provided to produce salmon and steelhead in the Columbia River Basin for harvest and conservation purposes.
To comply with the National Environmental Policy Act with respect to its hatchery funding decisions under the Mitchell Act, NOAA Fisheries released a final environmental impact statement (EIS) in 2014 to inform its decisions regarding what kind of hatchery programs to fund with Federal appropriations provided under the Mitchell Act. The scope of this EIS includes all of the Columbia River Basin open to salmon and steelhead. The final EIS evaluates the resource effects of implementing alternative hatchery management strategies throughout the Columbia River Basin. NOAA Fisheries made a final decision in 2014 (see record of decision, below) after careful consideration of a range of comments received during public review of the final EIS.
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