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Fish groups threaten another lawsuit over Elwha hatchery program

July 21st, 2014 - 5:15am

(Port Angeles) – Four conservation groups have filed notice with the federal government and Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe they intend to sue over a non-functioning fish passage on the Elwha River.

Wild Fish Conservancy, The Conservation Angler, the Federation of Fly Fishers Steelhead Committee, and the Wild Steelhead Coalition issued the 60-day notice to sue letter last week.

The groups contend the Elwha hatchery program is in violation of the endangered species act, because its approval relied on a functioning Elwha River mainstream “weir” as an essential component.

That weir is currently not functioning. The groups say the weir would have provided critical functions for monitoring, evaluation, and adaptive management of the programs’ effects on ESA-listed Chinook salmon, steelhead, and bull trout.

The same groups have long argued the hatchery program threatens to diminish wild fish runs in the river. They filed another federal lawsuit over the hatchery program two years ago.


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