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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

March 11, 2012 at 4:20 PM

Possible plans to launch a hatchery spring chinook program in the Touchet River

State Fish and Wildlife and tribal fish managers are deciding on bringing hatchery spring chinook to the Touchet River.

That proposal to reintroduce hatchery spring chinook salmon and possible future salmon fisheries to the Touchet River are the topic of a 7 p.m. March 15 public meeting at the Seneca Labor Camp Activities Building on Green Giant Camp Road, east of the Highway 12 overpass at the east end of Dayton.

State Fish and Wildlife and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation will take questions and comments.

Fish biologists will make a short presentation about the tribes’ hatchery-origin spring chinook reintroduction program for the Walla Walla Basin and proposed plans to expand reintroduction efforts into the Touchet River.

The Touchet River proposal is an initial pilot project to facilitate development of a comprehensive hatchery spring chinook reintroduction program.

Establishing a hatchery-origin population of spring chinook in the Touchet River could provide state and tribal fishing opportunity in the future, said fishery managers.

CTUIR Fisheries Program Manager Gary James of Pendleton, Ore., said in a news release that hatchery chinook reintroduction in the south fork of the Walla Walla River and upper Mill Creek has been successful and could be expanded to the Touchet River tributary.

“We’d like to describe the plans and gauge public support for this reintroduction proposal,” said state Fish and Wildlife District Fish Biologist Glen Mendel of Dayton.

Interested persons who cannot attend the meeting may send questions or comments to teamspokane@dfw.wa.gov by March 30.

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