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They just didn’t think it would happen so soon

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.  

The LA Times wrote their own piece regarding the returning wild fish and referenced the hatchery lawsuit.

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.

Dylan and Bill McMillan's piece, The Hatchery Myth in The Flyfish Journal issue 3.2 and Why Hatcheries Suck by Steven Hawley in The Drake are must reads.

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Reader Comments (1)

The sad part you miss in this recap is that Mike McHenry was not in favor stocking Chambers Creek fish in the upper watershed, but got personally sued in the process.

July 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHopspot

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