Billy Frank: Tribes restoring salmon at hatcheries
"If you caught a fish this fall, chances are you have a salmon hatchery to thank.

Salmon hatcheries provide most of the salmon for harvest in western Washington. That’s because wild salmon habitat has been degraded to the point that few wild runs can sustain much harvest.

The combined tribal, state and federal salmon hatchery system in western Washington is the largest in the world. This system keeps us fishermen on the water while we try to solve the problem of limited and damaged habitat for wild fish.

With our state co-managers, tribes have been on the cutting edge of enhancement science, making sure our efforts with salmon hatcheries are the best for salmon, fishermen and our communities.

The Squaxin Island Tribe recently finished a study into the habitat of one of their local creeks. It helped the tribe, state and a local enhancement group figure out a better way to build natural coho populations in the stream. The tribe will soon add 30,000 young coho from hatchery broodstock that will spawn naturally and boost the run.

Since 2005, the Lower Elwha Tribe has been holding on tight to a wild steelhead run on the Elwha River as preparation continues for removal of two salmon-blocking dams. By collecting and raising native steelhead in a hatchery, once the dams are gone, the steelhead will be situated to make a full recovery"

Get the Story:
Billy Frank Jr.: Looking at hatcheries through the habitat lens (Indian Country Today 11/9)