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NW Fishletter #368, April 3, 2017
 Groups To Sue Corps Over Hatchery Effects On Wild Steelhead In Willamette River Basin
Alleging hatchery summer steelhead are preventing recovery of Willamette River wild winter steelhead, two conservation groups notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers they would be suing within 60 days.
In a March 13 news release, Willamette Riverkeeper and The Conservation Angler said new information indicates hatchery summer steelhead originally from the Washougal River are harming the Willamette River basin's native winter steelhead.
Willamette River wild winter steelhead have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 1999.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife raises and releases the hatchery summer steelhead with funding from the Corps. The funding is mitigation for damage done to wild winter steelhead from 13 Corps dams in the Willamette basin.
David Moskowitz of The Conservation Angler said in the news statement that hatchery and wild fish are spawning and producing less successful offspring, while the Angler's Bill Bakke emphasized that the hatchery fish are preying on wild juvenile steelhead and spring Chinook and competing for food and rearing space.
The pending litigation seeks to compel the Corps to begin an ESA consultation with NOAA Fisheries over the hatchery summer steelhead program. -Laura Berg
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