WDFW seeking public input on SEPA environmental analysis of co-manager hatchery policy

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is asking for public comment on an environmental analysis of a draft policy to guide management of hatcheries in the state.

In April 2021, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted an updated Anadromous Salmon and Steelhead Hatchery Policy, and instructed WDFW “to begin development of a joint policy agreement on salmon and steelhead hatchery programs with tribal co-managers”.

This would supplement and supersede the existing Commission policy, when appropriate.

A final draft policy was developed in November 2022.

Following presentations to the full Commission, the draft policy was released for general public comment in February 2023. 

Results of that public comment opportunity were presented to the Commission in April.

The draft co-manager hatchery policy is now undergoing a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) public comment period; the SEPA determination, draft policy, and supporting documents are available on WDFW’s website

Members of the public can submit comments on the SEPA determination online, by email, or by mail to:

Lisa Wood, SEPA/NEPA Coordinator
WDFW Habitat Program, Protection Division
P.O. Box 43200
Olympia, WA, 98504

Comments, including mailed comments, must be received by 11:59 p.m. on May 26, 2023.

The draft policy includes commitments to work as co-managers to develop and implement hatchery management plans on a regional or watershed-specific basis, while conserving natural-spawning populations of fish and mitigating the effects of habitat loss and other environmental impacts. 

The draft policy outlines six guiding principles to support these values.