Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe hatchery case dismissed

The Seattle Times reported recently that the federal court in Tacoma has dismissed the March 2012 lawsuit brought against the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the operation of its hatchery, citing that the suit was “moot”.

From the story:


(U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin) Settle found that the suit was moot because, since the suit was filed, the tribe had obtained permits from federal fisheries officials to carry out programs at its hatchery, leaving no question to settle.

“It speaks for itself,” said the tribe’s lawyer, Steven Suagee. “The initial complaint had been that the tribe didn’t have the approvals for these hatchery programs, and now we do.“


In addition, the tribe has agreed to stop stocking Chambers Creek steelhead at its hatchery. The steelhead are not native to the Elwha River, but were brought in to provide fish for tribal fishermen since the native stocks declined as a result of two dams being constructed on the river and severely damaged the salmon habitat. The two dams are currently being deconstructed.