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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A coalition of seven conservation groups have started legal contact with the ODFW due to violations with the Clean Water Act.

They are claiming that the ODFW state run hatchery program is causing severe environmental degradation well beyond levels permitted by the Clean Water Act. So far they have identified nearly 20 hatcheries that are releasing "toxins and sediments" into our streams. They want them either cleaned up or SHUT DOWN.

It also sounds like this isn't the first issue with this. Since 2001, there has been over 1500 seperate violations reported.

What is going on?
 

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Where did you hear this ?
These guys do this with the stradegy of depleting money out of the system. Animal rights groups,
conservation group or what ever. They won't win but the will hurt the budget. We need a counter
group to appose them. Less than 10 % of the population hunt and fish the last I heard.
What a joke and an abuse of the system.

Don't drink the water, the fish pee in it ! Yeah right........ :laugh: :sick:

[ 07-31-2003, 09:49 AM: Message edited by: Abalone ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I just recieved the new issue of Salmon-Trout-Steelheader and there was a article on this topic. We need to take a stand on this!
 
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They've been threatening to do this for awhile now.
Basically they are suing to force the ODFW into compliance for the waste water discharge that violates DEQ standards.
The "deferred" maintenance issue has come back to bite the ODFW.

Here is the press release from Oregon Trout's website

Conservation Groups to Sue Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Over State Fish Hatchery Operations

OREGON—Oregon's state-run fish hatcheries are routinely violating the Clean Water Act. A coalition of six conservation organizations initiated legal proceedings today to redress these violations by sending the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) a formal notice of intent to file a citizen suit against the agency.

"Oregon's state-run hatchery program is causing environmental degradation well beyond levels permitted by the Clean Water Act," according to Mark Riskedahl, Executive Director of the Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC). This is not the first time that ODFW's hatchery program has come under scrutiny for Clean Water Act violations. In 2001, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) issued a formal Notice of Noncompliance to ODFW for pervasive
water quality violations it characterized as "systemic". These violations have continued largely unabated. In fact, there have been over 1,500 separate violations since DEQ's original notice in 2001.

The significance of these continued violations in tight economic times is not lost on Joe Whitworth, Executive Director of Oregon Trout. " While most every other state program has undergone round after round of belt-tightening, ODFW perpetuates a program with steep ecological and financial costs -- too steep. These violations demonstrate a clear need for greater scrutiny of a program that's both expensive and broken."

Over 5 million pounds of commercial "closed formula" feed passed through state-run hatcheries into Oregon's waters last year alone. ODFW is uncertain what proprietary ingredients the feed contains, though independent scientists and federal agencies have expressed concern that the feed is contaminated with toxic constituents. Undigested feed and various other chemicals used in the hatchery production process combine with the large volume of fish feces to result in water quality violations.

"ODFW is not above the law. It must be held to the same standard to which private polluters are held, and it must comply with the Clean Water Act", stated Chris Winter, an attorney with Cascade Resources Advocacy Group (CRAG), a public interest environmental law firm in Portland, Oregon representing the conservation groups.

Decrepit hatchery infrastructure and serious mismanagement have led to a situation in which a major overhaul of Oregon's hatchery program would be necessary to meet minimum legal standards.

Joining NEDC on the suit are Oregon Trout, Trout Unlimited, the Native Fish Society, Pacific Rivers Council and the Oregon Natural Resources Council.

[ 07-31-2003, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: Stew ]
 

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BS.. conservation groups are not trying to bankrupt WDFW. They are desperatly trying to save our wild fish.. There is NO hidden agenda. They just want the hatcheries to stop doing damage beyond what their fish already do. However if all you want is fish to fill your freezer by all means complain away
 

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After reading all of the articles about the contaminated farm raised fish through PCB contaminated feed and the fact that the ODFW admits in the above article that they are "uncertain what proprietary ingredients the feed contains" I would agree that this needs to be addressed. All we need is for our hatcheries to cause damage to our streams/fish populations that could cause irrecoverable conditions. I'm just not sure about the way the conservation groups are going about helping to find a solution though, seems to me that they have a hidden agenda " While most every other state program has undergone round after round of belt-tightening, ODFW perpetuates a program with steep ecological and financial costs -- too steep. These violations demonstrate a clear need for greater scrutiny of a program that's both expensive and broken." not sure I agree with that statement.

JK
 

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Artwo,

I'm just not sure about the way the conservation groups are going about helping to find a solution though, seems to me that they have a hidden agenda
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">I don't think that is a fair reading. This group notified the ODFW two years ago that unless ODFW came up with a plan to address the issue they would be forced to go to court.

ODFW didn't address it in the current budget so at what point do you take action...3 years, 4 years?

I've got a money solution...sell a 2nd rod tag!

Brion
 
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Originally posted by rob allen:
BS.. conservation groups are not trying to bankrupt WDFW. They are desperatly trying to save our wild fish.. There is NO hidden agenda. They just want the hatcheries to stop doing damage beyond what their fish already do. However if all you want is fish to fill your freezer by all means complain away
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">You're right Rob their agenda is not hidden at all. They want to close hatcheries plain and simple!!!
No doubt that the ODFW needs to get this water quality issue straightened out but Native Fish Society and Oregon Trout have made it pretty obvious what they want and they are sucker punching ODFW to get it.
Have they offered any solution to solving the problem other than a lawsuit? nope! I have no interest in filling my freezer Rob but I'm also aware of the need for the state to provide fish to harvest for the tag buying public.
The ODFW is not without fault either! They knew there was a problem a long time ago and now it's turned into a full blown crisis.

[ 07-31-2003, 10:13 PM: Message edited by: Stew ]
 

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The saddest part I have read so far on this thread is that the public want's hatchery fish so that they can continue to harvest fish.

Too bad that more of the public will not except the catch and release mind set. It works!! And when done properly has little, or no mortality.

Another thing, If this suit is officially filed, there goes more of the state budget thrown down the drain. Money that could be spent on more important things.
 
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Originally posted by rebell:
The saddest part I have read so far on this thread is that the public want's hatchery fish so that they can continue to harvest fish.

Too bad that more of the public will not except the catch and release mind set. It works!! And when done properly has little, or no mortality.

Another thing, If this suit is officially filed, there goes more of the state budget thrown down the drain. Money that could be spent on more important things.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">I agree with the C&R mindset Rusty but I'm afraid the vast majority does not.
These groups are doing this at a weak moment because of budget constraints. Can the ODFW fight back? Do they even have the money to do so or to bring the hathceries up to DEQ standards?
I know as far as the Cedar Creek hatchery goes we are talking millions of dollars to bring it to to date and in compliance.
 

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Your right Shane. Something needs to be done, but can we afford to take care of the problem? Can we afford to take on a lawsuit? Talk about between a rock and and a hardplace.

I'm still not sure to this day if I would be upset if the Trask hatcheries closed. I know I will catch heck from Jerry on this, but can we really afford to keep them open? One thing that keeps coming to my mind is the Tillamook Anglers Assoc. Jerry Dove has done on heck of a job putting this organization together. Would it be possible that the Tillamook Anglers could assume the responsibilities of the Trask hatcheries? The Wiskey creek hatchery is a true success story.

If this idea is possible, I am willing to bet that we as anglers could fix the problems at the Trask hatcheries for 1/10th the cost.

Just a thought.

[ 07-31-2003, 07:42 PM: Message edited by: rebell ]
 

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Over 5 million pounds of commercial "closed formula" feed passed through state-run hatcheries into Oregon's waters last year alone
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">How did they figure that number out? What part of that 5 million pounds was converted to smolts and legal trout? Seems like someone is exagerating. :rolleyes:
 

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Originally posted by rob allen:
BS.. conservation groups are not trying to bankrupt WDFW. They are desperatly trying to save our wild fish.. There is NO hidden agenda. They just want the hatcheries to stop doing damage beyond what their fish already do. However if all you want is fish to fill your freezer by all means complain away
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">rob, i actualy agree with you.
 

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A lot of the violations were non-compliance for not filing the required reports with DEQ.

Why do ODFW personnel, after being repeatedly warned by DEQ, continue to ignore the reporting requirements?

Also, why did DEQ, our primary state water protection agency fail to get ODFW's attention on this matter.

All in all, it shouldn't take private citizens' time and money spent in litigation to get state agencies to follow the very clear law on this matter.
 

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Sorry Stew I completely disagree. These hatchery operators are in the wrong. They are doing things that are illegal. They have blatantly and without regard for anyone continued to conduct business in an illegal manner, Knowingly, intentionally and without any type of remorse or any type of corrective measure. This is exactly like you getting pulled over for speeding and telling the officer to go to hell. Exactly the same!!!
I am so sick of people, companies and agency;s thinking they can get away with anything they want no matter who they harm I could care less what hatcheries get closed it is 100% their own damn fault. They have had excessive opportunity to fix they problem and they didn't do it.
your acting like this is a new issue and ODFW just found out about it. They said to hell with our rivers so I say to hell with them.
 
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Rob take a deep breath and re-read my post. Where am I acting like this is something that the ODFW just found out about?
Here is what I said in my first response to you
"The ODFW is not without fault either! They knew there was a problem a long time ago and now it's turned into a full blown crisis."
It's fine that you disagree with me but please Rob if you are going to state that I said something Please get the facts correct
By stating that you don't care if the hatcheries get closed you have pretty much summed up the AGENDA of every one of these groups you are defending.

[ 08-01-2003, 12:22 AM: Message edited by: Stew ]
 

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What Stew said, pretty obvious where Rob's coming from here....as usual, no hidden agenda for him. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Question is, will the state be able to ante up for what it's going to cost to fix them all?? I really doubt it....but there may be something in the works for the legislature to pass a law giving those hatcheries a waiver??

TR
 

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The Govs fish man at work again.

Lets see,ODFW can pay lawyers big bucks or use the money to do good elsewhere. Glad to see my tax dollars at work again. And my lic and tag fees.

What exactly is DEQ definition of toxins and sediments? I would be willing to bet that sediment is fish poop from the hatcheries. Of course, those wonderful and pure nates do not poop in their own rivers. Toxins??

I am all for helping wild fish, but this is nothing more than the OT agenda at work. As usual I expect anglers will do nothing until they have lost something else( hatcheries or funds). By then it will be too late.

Mark and the make allies with the commercials, and their powerful lobby, and fight this tooth and nail dog.
 

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Sounds like a re-run of the Washington State experience. Just watch --- the suit will drag on and on, then be settled with a nice financial reward for the fly guys and their attorneys. :depressed:

[ 08-01-2003, 09:09 AM: Message edited by: Thumper ]
 

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Flatfish,

Lets see,ODFW can pay lawyers big bucks or use the money to do good elsewhere.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">It is a real problem that is hurting the salmon and the streams.

They knew they were going to get sued if the didn't address the problem. They had two years, at least, to address the problem.

Perhaps they should have spent the money fixing the problem rather than ignoring it, knowing that they were going to have legal costs if they didn't.

What about the $7M they are using for the new hatchery R&D facility, should that money perhaps be used to address a current problem?

I wonder if that is going to be the end result. I believe that Oregon Trout (and several legislators) were upset over the funding of a new facility during a budget crisis. I think this pork barrel project was needed to get the votes for the ODFW budget and was using funds designated for habitat restoration.

This may be the way for ODFW to get off the hook on the pork barrel project and use the money to fix a real current problem that probably should be addressed before a new hatchery related facility is built.

Brion
 
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