Advancing Environmental Law & Policy

Laws and Regulations to Protect Wild Fish

There have been laws to protect wild fish in the Pacific Northwest since time immemorial. Indigenous communities developed societal ethics to ensure enough salmon returned to spawn.  The first state legislature passed a law requiring fish passage at any obstruction built in a stream or river.  Besides the state laws that deal directly with fish, there are laws regulating human activities relating to lands and waters.  There are also federal laws that affect wild fish as well as lands and waters and at least one international treaty, the Pacific Salmon Treaty.  Some of those federal laws, such as the Clean Water Act, give great authority – and responsibility to the state.

Our Approach

Wild Fish Conservancy’s staff of professional advocates analyze and draft reviews of policy proposals, watch-dog public agencies, participate on recovery forums and technical-review teams, work directly with resource-management officials, establish and participate in coalitions with other regional and national conservation advocates, and where necessary, litigate to implement and defend our landmark environmental laws that protect our wild fish heritage.

Reach out to us with your legal or policy concern

Time and time again citizens have reached out to us with concern about environmental laws not being followed. In these instances, we work with legal teams to evaluate whether action needs to be taken, and if warranted, use the court system to enforce laws like the Clean Water Act,
Endangered Species Act, and other laws designed to protect wild fish.

Share your legal or policy concern using the form below.