By Ted Williams
Dear Members and Supporters,
It gives me immeasurable pleasure to begin my day by informing you that late yesterday afternoon, Native Fish Society was victorious in its lawsuit on the Sandy River hatchery. In short, it was a decisive victory.
The judge (Haggerty) said: “It is undisputed that hatchery operations can pose a host of risks to wild fish…it is clear that the Sandy River Basin is of particular importance to the recovery of the four [Endangered Species Act\ listed species and is an ecologically critical area.” He said that the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policies Act when it approved the State of Oregon’s management of the Sandy River Hatchery.
As you may recall, we, along with Eugene-based McKenzie Fly Fishers, sued NMFS in a last ditch effort to prevent the extinction of Chinook, steelhead and coho in the Sandy River. The State of Oregon had received NMFS’ blessing under the Endangered Species Act to continue to drown the river with over a million hatchery fish. The judge found fault with NMFS because it “treats the success of the [hatchery\ programs as a given, an issue called into doubt by ODFW’s miserable track record of containing stray rates.”
On behalf of everyone at Native Fish Society, I want to express our deepest appreciation for your support and confidence in our long pursuit of victory on the Sandy. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
As Bill Bakke said, “Today is a great day to be a wild fish in the Sandy River."
Hope this puts a smile on your face!
Mike Moody, Executive Director, Native Fish Society