Save the Puget Sound Steelhead

Steelhead_By_Greg Shields

Target: Science and Research Director, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Dr. John E. Stein

Goal: Protect the imperiled Puget Sound steelhead from dams and overfishing.

Puget Sound steelhead have been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 2007. Despite this status, a plan to protect and encourage the growth and survival of this species has yet to be successfully implemented. With populations continuing to decline, it is essential that a solid recovery plan be put in place to protect this species from extinction.

The Puget Sound steelhead is the state fish of Washington, and it carries cultural significance for Native American populations in the state. However, since 1900, ninety-seven percent of this species’ population has been lost, primarily due to habitat destruction, dams, overfishing, and hatcheries. After the listing of these fish as threatened in 2007, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) should have been required to develop and implement a recovery plan within 2.5 years. It is now 2016, and the NMFS says it will need another four years to complete this required plan. This delay in creating concrete regulations and goals for the recovery of these fish is unacceptable.

We have now known for nine years that the Puget Sound steelhead need our protection and help. Further delays in establishing and implementing a recovery plan for this species are not to be tolerated. Please sign the below petition to show your support for the Puget Sound steelhead by demanding the NMFS create a recovery plan as soon as possible.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Stein,

The Puget Sound steelhead population has been steadily declining, and these fish are at risk of extinction. This species has been listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act since 2007, but a recovery plan has yet to be created and implemented. I am writing to ask you to please require your agency to establish and implement a recovery plan for this threatened species as soon as possible.

Since 1900, ninety-seven percent of the Puget Sound steelhead population has been lost. This continued decline in numbers is due to factors such as damage to habitat, dams, overfishing, and hatcheries. These are all factors that could be attended to, but nothing is likely to change without a solid recovery plan. Therefore, it is essential that the National Marine Fisheries Service do everything in its power to create a recovery plan that addresses these threats to steelhead survival as soon as possible.

It has been nine years since the listing of Puget Sound steelhead as threatened. It has taken much too long for a recovery plan to be implemented by the NMFS, and it is high time that something be done. Please make every effort to ensure the continued survival of the Puget Sound steelhead by supporting immediate work within your agency on the creation of a recovery plan.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Greg Shields

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