C. Other strategies

1. Wild fish

Strategy

Native wild fish and the ecosystems they rely on must beprotected, mitigated, enhanced, and recovered, as they constitute an important, genetically diverse, biological resource for the Basin (in the context of the Council’s mitigation responsibility). Wild fish also provide important opportunities to rebuild and reintroduce populations where donor populations may support this. TheCouncil also recognizes that hatcheries are an important tool for mitigating thehydrosystem’s impact on wild fish and to assist in the rebuilding of certain wild fish populations.

Rationale

Because habitat restoration is a key strategy in the program, it is essential to maintainand rebuild healthy, self-sustaining fish and wildlife populations by protecting, mitigating, and restoring ecosystem conditions on which the fish depend through their entire life cycle. This wild fish strategy will help ensure that adequate attentionis also given to protecting, mitigating, and enhancing populations of wild fish. The Council’s program encourages collaboration and coordination to implement these measures while respecting the management role of the federal, state, and tribal natural resource agencies.

Principles

  • Where native habitat is largely intact, and the fish population has good potential to rebuild, manage for wild fish except where fish and wildlife managers determine supplementation efforts are appropriate, after applying existing review procedures.
  • All aspects of the life cycles of wild fish populations are important to theirabundance, productivity, diversity, and distribution and all sources of mortality must be addressed in protecting, mitigating and enhancing wild fish.
  • Freshwater survival of wild fish spawning, rearing, and migrating in tributary and mainstem rivers is key to maintaining healthy population conditions.
  • Habitat and hydrosystem actions should be managed to address theconservation needs of wild fish.
  • Ecological and genetic risks to wild fish should be managed by operating hatchery programs to address potential competition between hatchery-reared and wild fish for food resources, space, and exposure to disease, and gene flowbetween wild and hatchery populations.
  • Impacts to wild populations in fisheries should be managedconsistently with harvest biological opinions and with other conservation-based management agreements.

General measures

  • The Council will consider the needs of wild fish in all facets of its fish and wildlife program including: hydrosystem passage, fish propagation facilities,climate change, predation, strongholds, research, carrying capacity, and habitat actions.
  • Consistent with the Council’s quantitative objectives for adult salmon and steelhead, the Council will collect, organize, and review biological objectives for wild fish.

Link to subbasin plans

See the Council’s subbasin plans for subbasin-level information pertaining towild populations of focal species.

Links within the program

Objectives, strongholds, fish propagation, habitat, and adaptive management

← B. Fish Propagation Including Hatchery Programs

2. The use of hatcheries for reintroduction →

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