Oregon’s Hatchery Resilience Initiative: Taking a Hard Look at the State’s Hatchery Future

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On June 27th, 2024, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will launch public engagement in the Hatchery Resilience Initiative, a critical step towards reevaluating the sustainability and value of Oregon’s 14 state-owned hatcheries. This process, and will provide opportunities for public feedback on the best path forward for how the state should invest its time, money, and effort in managing hatcheries and wild fish.

This initiative follows a directive from Oregon’s 2023 legislative budget, which allocated $1 million for a comprehensive third-party assessment of hatchery operations, sustainability, and climate vulnerability. Here's an overview of this initiative and why it provides a crucial opportunity to advocate the importance of wild fish in the future design of Oregon's fish management.


How Did We Get Here?

In 2023, the legislative budget note mandated ODFW to evaluate the current state of fish hatcheries in Oregon, stating “The Department of Fish and Wildlife is directed to procure a third-party assessment of the operations, sustainability, and climate vulnerability of state-owned fish hatcheries”. This hatchery assessment includes:

  • Financial Sustainability: Evaluating the economic viability and cost-benefit of current hatchery operations.

  • Ecological Impact: Understanding the environmental benefits and impacts of hatcheries.

  • Climate Vulnerability: Assessing how climate change might affect a sample of state-owned hatcheries.

This comprehensive study will hopefully provide a picture of the current challenges and opportunities facing Oregon's fish hatcheries and the impact they have on wild, native fish.

What Is Happening?

ODFW is launching a program to share the results of this comprehensive analysis with the public, seeking feedback and participation in return. The initiative will kick off with a virtual public event on June 27th from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM. During this session, ODFW will outline the process and next steps. We will have a Native Fish Society representative in attendance to be able to share the events of the day with you - stay tuned for future updates.

Following the launch, a series of webinars will take place in July and August, presenting the findings of the third-party assessments, and will likely offer a platform for public engagement.

Why Is This Important?

This is a pivotal opportunity to advocate for the values of wild fish and wild rivers and weigh in on the future design of the state’s management and role of hatcheries. We must invest in actions such as habitat restoration, removal of access barriers, and comprehensive monitoring and data collection - efforts that are essential for protecting and reviving wild fish populations and ensuring sustainable fisheries, especially as we face the growing challenges of climate change.

By sharing your voice and participating in the Hatchery Resilience Initiative, we can help shape policies that prioritize the conservation of wild, native fish in Oregon.

How To Join The Conversation:

Join the virtual public kickoff on June 27th from 10am - 12:30pm PST. We also encourage you to participate in the webinars following the launch.

Stay tuned for more details on how you can get involved and make your voice heard in this important conversation. Together, we can make a difference for wild fish, free-flowing rivers, and thriving local communities!

Join Us for a Guaranteed Good Time for a Great Cause! Where: The Miracle Barn at 65599 Tweed Road, Bend, OR / *Virtual auction available anywhere you have wifi! When: Saturday, August 17th, 4 - 7pm What: A FREE Central Oregon benefit for our wild, native fish, free-flowing rivers, and thriving communities.