A program that would be a boost for wild steelhead on a northern Olympic coastal river is being looked at by state Fish and Wildlife.
Proposed management options for a hatchery steelhead program at Snider Creek, a tributary of the Sol Duc River is being sought by the public until June 30.
After receiving public input on the Snider Creek program last fall, state Fish and Wildlife staff developed an analysis of the program and a range of management options that could include the establishment of wild steelhead gene banks – waters where no hatchery steelhead would be released.
The proposed program will lessen the effects of competition by hatchery and wild steelhead on spawning grounds, and could also be established in the Calawah and Clearwater rivers.
The analysis is in line with state Fish and Wildlife’s Statewide Steelhead Management Plan.
Here is the link to view the Snider Creek management options and the analysis .Those who would like a copy of the information on a compact disc can call 360-249-4628.
Upcoming public meetings are 6 p.m.-8 p.m. June 7, at the Forks Sportsmans Club, 243 Sportsmans Club Road, in Forks; and June 9, at the state Fish and Wildlife North Puget Sound Regional Office, 16018 Mill Creek Blvd., in Mill Creek.
The Snider Creek program was created in 1986 as a joint project with the Olympic Peninsula Guides’ Association to increase fishing opportunities for steelhead on the Sol Duc River. The program is unlike most other hatchery efforts in that it produces offspring from wild steelhead rather than hatchery fish.
The 25-year contract for the program, which produces 50,000 smolts each year, expires in June 2011.
With the contract expiring, fishery managers are looking into the benefits of the program to determine whether it is consistent with current efforts to protect and restore wild steelhead populations, according to state Fish and Wildlife.
The analysis includes a review of the program’s contribution to state and tribal fisheries and its effect on wild steelhead populations in the Quillayute River system.
Mail comments to email@example.com or Snider Creek, 48 Devonshire Road, Montesano, WA, 98563.
Here is the link to view the commission’s hatchery and fishery reform policy .
Here is the link to view the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan .