WDFW Public comment period for Open Water Net Pen Rainbow/Steelhead Farms.

Bob Triggs

Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!
Just in:

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091
http://wdfw.wa.gov/

October 2, 2019
SEPA Contact:
Lisa Wood 360-902-2260
Public Affairs Contact: Carrie McCausland, 360-890-0996

WDFW seeks SEPA public comment on Cooke Aquaculture farming of rainbow trout/steelhead

OLYMPIA – Yesterday, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) began a 21-day public comment period regarding Cooke Aquaculture’s proposal to farm sterile (triploid) rainbow trout/steelhead in Puget Sound.

The Department posted a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) mitigated determination of non-significance that analyzes the environmental impacts of Cooke’s proposal to transition from farming Atlantic salmon to farming steelhead in several of the company’s existing facilities. These facilities include four net pens located near Rich Passage and Skagit Bay, but in the future may cover three more Puget Sound net pens currently owned by Cooke.

“Given the escape of Atlantic salmon in 2017, we know that there is a heightened sense of concern around the impacts of fish aquaculture in Puget Sound,” said WDFW Fish Program Director Kelly Cunningham. “We want to hear from the public about Cooke Aquaculture’s proposal and our proposed permit requirements.”

In addition to agreeing to farm only sterile fish, Cooke will also need to prescreen any fish destined for net pens in Washington waters to ensure that they are free of disease.

Cooke submitted a five-year Marine Aquaculture Permit application to WDFW in January 2019, and a SEPA Environmental Checklist with supporting documents in July 2019.

WDFW continues to work with its natural resource agency partners to provide oversight and ensure compliance with the terms of aquaculture permits and leases in Puget Sound. Cooke’s proposal would also be subject to additional regulatory review by WDFW’s sister state agencies before the proposed transition could take place.

The public is asked to submit comments by Oct. 22, 2019. The determination, including ways to comment, and supporting documents can be found at: https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/sepa/open-comments.
 
B

bennysbuddy

the only way we ever see decent steelhead fishing in this state is if they allow this & the net pens get torn. WDFW can't manage the fisheries any more
 

Jakob B

Washington Native and college age angler
A quick google search of the diseases that have been passed on to sockeye salmon in BC from Atlantic salmon pens will show anyone in their right mind that this is an offing terrible idea.

Personally I do not want every fish I catch in the future to have whirling disease...
 

the_chemist

Active Member
Honestly if they keep the pens I wish they would just keep raising Atlantics. With Atlantics, we at least we don't have to worry about crossbreeding or Atlantics establishing themselves in our rivers.
 

the_chemist

Active Member
I don't want these pollution generating fish farms but I also have to ask myself how long can mankind expect to eat salmon (or in this case trout) without aquaculture? I personally don't buy farmed fish- maybe I don't buy it "yet"?
That hits the nail on the head. I think commercial fishing should have gone the way of market hunting a long time ago.

No one would argue chicken(fish) farms are pollution free, but they are a better for our wildlife than commercial harvest of our wildlife.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
That hits the nail on the head. I think commercial fishing should have gone the way of market hunting a long time ago.

No one would argue chicken(fish) farms are pollution free, but they are a better for our wildlife than commercial harvest of our wildlife.
Without commercial harvest, where would I get the occasional wild salmon dinner I do so love? I've harvested a few Upriver Brights (fall Chinook that migrate up the Columbia to and through the Hanford Reach) but to call them prime table fare ....... some are still bright but I see a lot of less than chrome harvested.

The issues are vast, complicated. Killer whales starving to death, declining runs everywhere, dams whose costs exceed their benefit (Snake River), sea lions swimming up Bonneville Dam's fish ladder, the blob, drought and the ever continuing decline in spawning habitat. (Rant - I can get on a soap box from time to time).
 

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
That hits the nail on the head. I think commercial fishing should have gone the way of market hunting a long time ago.

No one would argue chicken(fish) farms are pollution free, but they are a better for our wildlife than commercial harvest of our wildlife.

Wild fish harvest rates continue to grow worldwide regardless of factory farming of fish. The idea that farming fish results in less fish harvest is not true.

Plus, farmed fish are fed wild fish which leads to less forage for wild fish in other parts of the world.

The only way to stop commercial fishing is to stop buying the product.
 

Chucker

Chucking a dead parrot on a piece of string!
I don't want these pollution generating fish farms but I also have to ask myself how long can mankind expect to eat salmon (or in this case trout) without aquaculture? I personally don't buy farmed fish- maybe I don't buy it "yet"?

The experience of Northern Europe has shown that you can’t have both. All areas with intensive salmon farming no longer have abundant wild stocks. It isn’t just the salmon that have gone either - sea run brown trout have also been destroyed.

Perhaps mankind should learn to accept that salmon is not a cheap source of protein, and not expect to eat it very often.
 

Chucker

Chucking a dead parrot on a piece of string!
That hits the nail on the head. I think commercial fishing should have gone the way of market hunting a long time ago.

No one would argue chicken(fish) farms are pollution free, but they are a better for our wildlife than commercial harvest of our wildlife.

Comparing chicken farming to salmon farming is a false equivalence. They are ecologically completely different.
 

Buzzy

Active Member
Better to raise Atlantic salmon than rainbow trout or any local native species.
Steve - Please explain this for my ADD challenged mind. I thought the Cooke proposal was for sterile trout (triploid?) so I guess I don't understand why a farmed Atlantic would be better than a genetic mutant rainbow.
 

Jmills81

The Dude Abides
This proposal is INSANITY. There's nothing good about this. Tell WDFW and all parties involved to go fak themselves and deny this bullshiiiiiiiiiit
 

Salmo_g

WFF Supporter
Buzzy, rainbows, sterile or not, still share many common fish diseases with native steelhead and rainbow. It's not like diseases that affect Atlantics don't affect native salmonids. They do. However, each species has its particular disease sepabilities, so Atlantics are less likely to spread major disease infections to local fish, whereas the triploids would be more likely. A secondary concern is that not all sterile triploids turn out to be sterile after all. Oh, another thing, the triploids could end up being marketed as steelhead, which works against the interest of recovering native steelhead.
 

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