Hundreds of you have responded to our call to contact your legislators urging them to fund ODFW’s continued operation of the Leaburg hatchery – thank you!
A key subcommittee released ODFW’s draft budget and while funding was provided for Columbia/Willamette River sea lion removal ($494K) and to restart the summer steelhead production at the Santiam hatchery ($436K), but the Leaburg hatchery is unfunded and will close unless legislators hear from enough of us! Funding for Leaburg is one of the last issues being negotiated, so it is urgent.
We need you to do three things:
1) Forward/share this email with your friends and family
2) Click HERE
to send your legislators another pre-drafted email in support of funding for the Leaburg hatchery
3) Send a personalized email to members of the Joint Ways and Means Committee: Sen.BetsyJohnson@oregonlegislature.gov
As you know, hatcheries are critical to the conservation of salmon and steelhead AND producing fish for robust recreational fisheries. Unfortunately, anti-hatchery activists have falsely claimed that Leaburg and other Willamette Basin hatcheries threaten wild salmon populations. The federal NOAA Fisheries- the agency charged with protecting endangered salmon – found the exact opposite in its recent approval of Hatchery Genetic Management Plans for the hatcheries:
“Given the continued decline of the ESU as a whole and the need to re-establish Chinook salmon back in historic habitat above the federal dams, the hatchery Chinook salmon programs are providing essential benefits to the conservation and recovery of the ESU.” (NOAA Fisheries- Upper Willamette HGMP BiOp, 2019, page 191)
We appreciate the efforts of the Association of Northwest Steelheaders and McKenzie River Guides Association on this effort!
Last year, CCA led the successful effort to secure one-year of state funding for ODFW to continue operating the Leaburg hatchery after the Army Corps of Engineers announced that it would be closed. The Leaburg hatchery, located east of Eugene and constructed to mitigate for the impact of federal dams in the Willamette River basin, is critical to the future of our fisheries - including efforts to increase production of Willamette River spring Chinook. It would cost as much as $100 million to construct a new hatchery to replace Leaburg, which is in excellent condition and enjoys a plentiful water supply.
Leaburg’s hatchery programs are operated in compliance with all state and federal laws, including protections for ESA-listed salmon populations. Despite this, anti-hatchery organizations are using false claims to oppose continued funding of this hatchery in the legislature.
We need your help to urge our legislators to fund the Leaburg hatchery and the many benefits it provides our state, including fishing-related jobs and economic activity that generate tax revenue for the state.