Making steelhead 'the fish of a hundred casts'May 01, 2015
The disappearance of steelhead is not a mystery. We are well aware of what has caused it. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – the federal agency charged with protecting this imperiled fish – have identified the four culprits responsible for steelhead’s precipitous decline – hydropower, hatcheries, harvest, and habitat loss.
Despite this understanding and the agency’s legal obligation to protect steelhead populations, NOAA is currently undermining critical federal regulations to breathe new life into one of their four identified steelhead culprits – government-operated steelhead hatcheries. The last thing ESA-listed steelhead need is more of what has caused their decline. So why NOAA is actively working to undercut federal protections to expedite approval of steelhead hatcheries is beyond perplexing.