Photo: John McMillan
News organizations world wide have picked up on this AP story of wild steelhead returning to the Elwha post dam removal which features this money quote.
"We’re wildly excited,” said Mike McHenry, fish habitat manager for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. “It just confirms what we have known all along — that these fish are quite capable of recolonizing the Elwha once we get the dams out of the way.”
What the AP story neglects to point out is that if not for a lawsuit, Mike McHenry and his employers would have planted Chambers Creek hatchery steelhead back into the Elwha. We owe the Klallam Tribe a great deal of respect for their efforts to help bring those dams down but their misguided hatchey strategy is a threat to those returning wild fish the world is currently celebrating.
Patagonia fly fishing ambassador Dylan Tomine shares his concerns about restocking the Elwha River with non-native, hatchery-raised fish at the Elwha River Science Symposium.