Thursday February 1, 2024


Wild Fish Conservancy and The Conservation Angler announced that they issued a 60-day Notice of Intent to sue federal, state, and local agencies for what they call “chronic and ongoing violations of the Endangered Species Act” (ESA).  

The notice, released by the groups, contends that the agencies are operating hatchery programs in the lower Columbia River Basin under the federal Mitchell Act and Select Area Fishery Enhancement (SAFE) programs without complying with provisions designed to prevent the extinction of wild salmon and to protect their ecosystems.

“Together, these programs are harming threatened and endangered Chinook, coho, and chum salmon, as well as steelhead and Southern Resident killer whales. These hatchery programs harm these species and their critical habitats through a variety of mechanisms, including facility effects, fish removal activities, genetic and ecological interactions, harvest, and monitoring and evaluation.”

Congress enacted the Mitchell Act in 1938 to mitigate adverse effects on salmon in the Columbia River Basin. National Marine Fisheries Service distributes funds appropriated under the Mitchell Act that Congress has allocated to hatchery programs.

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