Proposal would return salmon to Touchet River

The proposal is a pilot project to help develop a comprehensive hatchery spring chinook reintroduction program.

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DAYTON - Restoring salmon runs to the Touchet River will be the topic of a meeting Thursday.

Organizers will discuss a proposal to reintroduce hatchery spring chinook salmon and possible future salmon fisheries to the river.

The meeting will start at 7 p.m. at the Seneca Labor Camp Activities Building on Green Giant Camp Road, east of the U.S. Highway 12 overpass on the east end of Dayton.

The proposal is part of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation hatchery-origin spring chinook reintroduction program for the Walla Walla Basin.

Biologists with the tribe and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will make a short presentation about the program, then take questions and comments.

Gary James, tribal fisheries program manager, said hatchery chinook reintroduction in the south fork of the Walla Walla River and upper Mill Creek has been successful and could be expanded to the Touchet River tributary.

The Touchet River proposal is a pilot project to help develop a comprehensive hatchery spring chinook reintroduction program.

Glen Mendel, WDFW district fish biologist, said in a release the meeting will be a chance to describe the plans and gauge public support for the reintroduction proposal.

Establishment of a hatchery-origin population of spring chinook in the Touchet River could provide state and tribal fishing opportunities in the future.

People who cannot attend the meeting may send questions or comments to teamspokane@dfw.wa.gov by March 30.

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People who cannot attend the meeting may send questions or comments to teamspokane@dfw.wa.gov by March 30.

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