Seattle Sockeye Hatchery Still A Go: Internet Post

A post on Gamefishin.com today seems to indicate that construction of a permanent sockeye hatchery on the Lake Washington system is still a go.

Questions about the future of the facility arose in late April following the release of an independent scientific study on sockeye populations in the Cedar River and elsewhere in the Basin. Then, in early May, with word there had been a pause in the process, sport anglers were asked to pressure Mayor McGinn and the City of Seattle to continue to support the hatchery.

A phone call and email from this reporter to a spokesman in the mayor’s office to clear up Mayor McGinn’s stance on the facility went unreturned.

But Baywolf, aka Perry Menchaca, on Gamefishin recently received a response purportedly from April Thomas of the mayor’s staff.

In the email message, Thomas writes that Seattle Public Utilities scientists as well as WDFW, Muckleshoot Tribe and Federal agencies have discussed the study, and as a result “… We plan to stay on schedule with the normal project delivery steps for the hatchery, and we expect the new hatchery to be completed by late summer of 2011.”

It’s been a long struggle to build a new hatchery, fought for years in the courts, but Thomas notes that city must mitigate for building the Landsburg Dam in the early 1900s.

“One of the significant benefits of this history is a robust adaptive management program for this hatchery, and specific protocols for monitoring of the Cedar River system and sockeye runs. This program and its protocols, with regulatory oversight, enable us to continuously account for new science, and thereby adjust the production level of the hatchery,” the email response to Menchaca’s question says.

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