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Critics swarm Columbia River hatchery review


The Tri-City Herald weighs in against a controversial federal review of Columbia River hatcheries today, echoing discontent from sport and commercial fishing groups and four counties at the mouth of the river (two in Oregon and two in Washington). Add another voice to the debate over salmon hatcheries and what to do about their negative impacts on wild fish and habitat:

“The critics aren’t impressed with the study’s scientific and technical analysis, complaining that the document overemphasizes the negative effects of hatchery salmon on natural runs and ignores the potential for modern hatchery practices to help save endangered stocks.

They also are concerned that without major revisions, the draft study will unravel several carefully crafted agreements that represent the best chance of survival for Columbia River salmon. …

… If stakeholders had a meaningful role to play in identifying and analyzing alternatives, the document wouldn’t be facing nearly universal condemnation.

(The National Marine Fisheries Service) needs a better plan for hatcheries than any of the five alternatives in its draft study, one that addresses the legitimate concerns raised by the document’s critics.

The best way to find one is to start over.”

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