About the California Hatchery Review

An appropriation for California hatchery review was provided to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and was administered through the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission.  The review examined hatchery programs in the Klamath, Trinity and Central Valley basins.

The goal of this hatchery program review initiative is to ensure that anadromous hatchery programs in California are managed and operated to meet one or both of the primary purposes for hatcheries:

  • Helping recover and conserve naturally spawning salmon and steelhead populations, and
  • Supporting sustainable fisheries with little or no deleterious consequence to natural populations.

Eleven fishery scientists and biologists were appointed to the California Hatchery Scientific Review Group (California HSRG).  The California HSRG members were:

  • Dr. John Carlos Garza, NMFS, Southwest Regional Science Center
  • Scott Hamelberg, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Dr. David Hankin, Humboldt State University
  • Michael Lacy, California Department of Fish and Game
  • Dennis Lee, Independent Consultant
  • Dr. Bernie May, University of California, Davis
  • Michael Mohr, NMFS, Southwest Regional Science Center
  • George Nandor, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
  • Kevin Niemela, US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Dr. Reg Reisenbichler, Independent Consultant
  • Kimberly True, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Members affiliated with agencies did not represent their respective organizations.  Instead they were expected to bring their individual scientific expertise to the table. The intent of this approach was to ensure that the California HSRG maintained independence and impartiality, while at the same time assuring that it possessed thorough knowledge of salmonid populations and hatchery programs in the Klamath / Trinity and Central Valley regions. The California HSRG was assisted in their deliberations by consultants affiliated with D.J. Warren & Associates, Inc. including Malone Environmental Consulting, Meridian Environmental, Inc. and ICF International. The primary role of the consultants was to assemble and organize existing data concerning operation and performance of the majority of California’s salmon and steelhead hatcheries and to identify current scientific literature that seemed most pertinent to operation and management of these hatcheries.  Weighing available scientific information, the California HSRG produced consensus recommendations for changes in hatchery practices that should provide guidance to policy makers who will be responsible for implementing changes to California hatchery programs.