From the Native Fish Society: In 2008, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) committed to identify wild stock gene banks (WSGB) in Puget Sound to protect threatened wild steelhead from hatchery steelhead. In summer 2015 WDFW asked for public comment on which Puget Sound watersheds to protect, and the response overwhelmingly identified the Skagit, Snoqualmie, Puyallup/Carbon, and the Elwha watersheds. 869 individuals out of 959 respondents (91%) strongly supported the Skagit watershed as a WSGB.
Eight years since WDFW’s commitment, still not a single Puget Sound WSGB has been designated. Meanwhile, we have fewer than 3% of the historical abundance of Puget Sound steelhead and 12 of 20 Puget Sound steelhead populations are at high risk of extinction. If this trend isn’t reversed, Puget Sound steelhead will undoubtedly be listed as endangered under the ESA.
Please join us in sending an email to WDFW and the Wildlife Commission that oversees the Department. Tell them Puget Sound’s Wild Steelhead Can’t Wait. The Department of Fish and Wildlife is OVERDUE to designate the entire Skagit as a wild steelhead gene bank.
Simply fill in your pertinent contact info, click the “Submit” button, and your message will be sent to the recipients listed below. Please send your message by 5p.m. Pacific time on July 29, 2016. Feel free to customize the letter.
Thank you for your continued support of Washington’s wild steelhead!