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WDFW Extends Comment Period On Wild Steelhead Management Zones In Puget Sound Rivers

OLYMPIA - The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is extending until Aug. 31 the public comment period for selecting Puget Sound rivers where hatchery steelhead will not be released by the department. The original comment period was scheduled to end today.

WDFW will accept comments online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/conservation/fisheries/steelhead/gene_bank/ . Rivers under consideration are listed on that webpage.

Wild steelhead management zones or "gene banks" are one of a number of management strategies identified in the Statewide Steelhead Management Plan to conserve and rebuild Washington's wild steelhead.

Studies indicate that hatchery steelhead can compete with wild steelhead and that interbreeding can reduce survival rates for wild fish, said Annette Hoffmann, WDFW regional fish manager.

The department will designate at least one wild steelhead management zone in each of three Puget Sound regions:

Hood Canal and Strait of Juan de Fuca;

Central and South Puget Sound;

North Puget Sound (North Cascades rivers).

Hoffmann requested that comments be made through the online form by Aug. 31. Those without access to a computer can request paper forms by contacting the Mill Creek office at (425) 775-1311.


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