ESA Lawsuit Filed Challenging Operations At The Trinity River Fish Hatchery

The Trinity River Hatchery, which is operated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, has a production capacity of approximately 40 million salmonid eggs.  Operations at the Hatchery are intended to mitigate for lost salmonid habitat due to the construction and operation of various water projects.  However, a recent lawsuit filed by the Environmental Protection Information Center alleges that instead of mitigating for impacts to endangered and threatened salmon and steelhead, the Hatchery is "taking" the protected species in violation of the Endangered Species Act.  Specifically, the complaint (pdf) alleges that protected salmonids are being collected for use as broodstock without the explicit approval of the National Marine Fisheries Service, and that the released hatchery fish compete with, prey upon, or interbreed with the protected species.  A representative for the plaintiff stated that it filed the lawsuit "to shine a light on failed policies and open up a public process that is focused on the recovery of wild runs of salmon and steelhead."

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