[env-trinity] SF Chronicle 2 11 10

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Thu Feb 11 15:10:09 PST 2010

Watchdog's suit says hatchery fish hurt natives

Peter Fimrite, Chronicle Staff Writer <mailto:pfimrite at sfchronicle.com> 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An environmental watchdog group sued the state Wednesday for what
representatives called a wholesale failure to protect native species from
sickness, death and other harmful effects caused by hatchery-raised fish.

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The Center for Biological Diversity accused the Department of Fish and Game
of harming native trout, steelhead, salmon, amphibians and other wildlife by
planting millions of hatchery fish in streams and waterways.

Studies have shown that hatchery-raised steelhead trout pass on genetic
defects that hamper survival of their offspring and harm the natural
balance. Nonnative hatchery fish also eat the eggs and babies of native

"The California Department of Fish and Game has utterly failed to mitigate
for the devastating impacts of stocking hatchery fish on native fish and
wildlife such as chinook salmon, mountain yellow-legged frogs and long-toed
salamanders," said Noah Greenwald, endangered species program director at
the nonprofit center, which is based in Arizona but has offices in San

The lawsuit challenges an environmental report issued in January that
analyzed the state's hatcheries and stocking programs and recommended ways
to improve operations. The report, which Greenwald said favors stocking
programs over maintenance of wild fish populations, was a response to a
previous lawsuit filed by the center. 

"We stand by our environmental impact report," said Kirsten Macintyre, a
Fish and Game spokeswoman. "Unless the court instructs us to do otherwise,
we will move forward with the stocking program as it's outlined."

Environmentalists claim nonnative hatchery trout have caused declines in
mountain yellow-legged frogs, Cascades frogs and long-toed salamanders in
high mountain lakes. Unhealthy hatchery salmon have also contributed to the
collapse of salmon runs in California and Oregon over the past two years,
according to recent federal studies.

Read more:



Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land/fax (call first to fax)

415 519 4810 mobile

 <mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net

 <mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org

 <http://fotr.org/> http://www.fotr.org 




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