Lower Snake FWS Hatcheriesby CBB Staff
About 13 million juvenile chinook salmon and steelhead are being released this spring from 13 Lower Snake River Compensation Plan (LSRCP) hatcheries and ponds in Oregon, Washington and Idaho, says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The LSRCP hatchery program is administered by the FWS in Boise.
The purpose of the program is to compensate for fish mortality associated with the construction and operation of Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and Ice Harbor dams on the lower Snake River.
The Bonneville Power Administration reimburses the FWS for LSRCP expenses using revenues generated from selling hydropower.
LSRCP hatcheries in Idaho include Magic Valley, Sawtooth, McCall and Clearwater hatcheries operated by Idaho Department of Fish and Game and Hagerman and Dworshak National Fish Hatcheries operated by the Service.
Oregon hatcheries include Lookingglass and Irrigon operated by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Washington hatcheries include Lyons Ferry and Tucannon operated by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
FWS officials say the goals of LSRCP Program fish releases are two fold -- harvest and conservation of stocks listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Sport harvest of LSRCP salmon and steelhead contributes millions of dollars to local economies in the Snake River basin in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho; while tribal harvest helps achieve their ceremonial, subsistence, and other treaty goals.
The LSRCP adult returns in the last few years have contributed to the record Snake River runs and the excellent sport and tribal fisheries, says the FWS. Adults returning from conservation releases help reduce the threat of extinction of listed populations and contribute to natural spawning.
The LSRCP Program also funds fish health monitoring services and an extensive monitoring and evaluation program.
Two goals of these programs are to improve operations of LSRCP hatchery programs and determine positive and negative effects of LSRCP programs on natural salmon and steelhead populations listed under the Endangered Species Act. The fish health and M&E programs are managed by state agencies, Nez Perce Tribe, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, and the Service.
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