THE PUGET SOUND AND COASTAL WASHINGTON HATCHERY REFORM PROJECT (2000 - 2005)
In May 1999, a group of leading scientists issued a report to Congress saying that, while hatcheries have been identified as a source of the decline of wild salmon populations, they also represent an opportunity to help recover salmon and steelhead, in just a few years and at relatively small cost.
In 2000, Congress responded by creating and funding the Puget Sound and Coastal Washington Hatchery Reform Project, a groundbreaking, science-driven effort to rethink how hatcheries can be managed to help conserve naturally spawning populations and support sustainable fisheries.
Congress established the Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG), an independent panel of nine highly regarded scientists, as the heart of the reform effort; and charged Seattle non-profit Long Live the Kings (LLTK) with providing project facilitation, coordination, and communications.
The Puget Sound and Coastal Washington Hatchery Reform Project, which resulted in over 1,000 recommendations for programmatic changes, was complete in 2005. LLTK maintains this website as an archive of the project.
HATCHERY REFORM TODAY
The Puget Sound and Coastal Washington Hatchery Reform Project established a set of principles, a process, and management and evaluation tools that continue to inform hatchery reform activities across the Pacific Northwest:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated an internal review of its Pacific Region facilities beginning in May 2005. Long Live the Kings has provided facilitation, coordination, and strategic planning services for this effort since July 2005. The Pacific Region Hatchery Review is scheduled to conclude in late 2009.
For more information, see the USFWS Pacific Region Hatchery Review website.
In 2005, Congress directed NOAA Fisheries to replicate the Puget Sound and Coastal Washington Hatchery Reform Project in the Columbia River Basin. This effort is lead by the HSRG, whose final report will be published in 2009.
For more information, see the Pacific Northwest Hatchery Reform Project website.