Sunsetting Hatcheries

Our Approach

Guided by the best available science, Wild Fish Conservancy works to restore wild fish habitat, reform fisheries, and transition away from fish hatcheries. We believe hatcheries play a role in justifying the continued degradation of the natural environment, and continue to harm wild fish populations through genetic, ecological, infrastructural, disease, and fisheries impacts.

We engage in public policy processes to ensure the best management practices are protecting fish, and when that is insufficient, rely on the courts to uphold environmental laws.

Hatcheries Harm Wild Fish

The artificial spawning and rearing of hatchery fish is one of the primary way in which fish are harmed by humans.

The Remedy:
Wild Recovery

To achieve broad sense recovery of self-sustaining, wild, fish populations we must aim to transition away from depending on hatcheries.

Our Initaitives

Through a variety legal of initiatives Wild Fish Conservancy has shown a steadfast commitment to standing up against the continuation of fish hatcheries. Over the last three decades WFC has set important legal precedents by enforcing the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act as they relate to the artificial propagation of fish. We've also been at the forefront of developing mark-selective fisheries that can reduce the negative impact caused by too many hatchery fish on the spawning grounds.

Legal Suit against WA Agency for Killing Federally Protected Wild Steelhead

Wild Fish Conservancy has sued the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for violations of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) resulting from its unpermitted operation of a new summer steelhead hatchery program in the Skykomish River. Throughout 2019 and 2020, WDFW has been capturing and killing wild summer steelhead for this new hatchery program without the required federal review and approval of a Hatchery Genetic Management Plan (HGMP); federally-approved operational plans required for all hatcheries that affect threatened or endangered species.

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