Burley Creek Hatchery Environmental Assessment

Port Orchard, Washington

Burley Creek Fish Hatchery

Hart Crowser prepared a National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessment (NEPA EA) and supporting documents for proposed construction at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center Burley Creek Hatchery. This restoration-focused hatchery produces eyed eggs and adult fish used in the recovery of a highly endangered stock of sockeye salmon (Snake River-Redfish Lake). The NEPA documentation examined design changes to accommodate significant production increases at the hatchery, and construction of a naturalized drainage channel to provide on-site juvenile rearing and public access.

Hart Crowser conducted an environmental baseline assessment of site conditions; helped analyze channel design options and select a preferred alternative; assessed potential environmental impacts of the preferred and no action alternatives; and prepared an EA pursuant to NEPA, implementing regulations of NOAA, and requirements from Bonneville Power Administration. The EA examined impacts to Endangered Species Act-listed stocks of Chinook salmon and steelhead and assessed potential impacts to essential fish habitat for these species. Federal and state permit applications also were prepared in compliance with Sections 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act and the Washington State Hydraulic Code.

Work by Hart Crowser included input to the design team for the rearing channel to increase the area for fish production, and a public pathway for observation and educational signage. Company biologists also conducted hydrology modeling to ensure that groundwater withdrawals, and discharges to Burley Creek would not significantly impact local, Endangered Species Act-listed fish stocks.

The NEPA compliance work conducted by Hart Crowser allowed NOAA to expand stock supplementation efforts for one of the most endangered salmonid stocks in the United States. The restoration design for a rearing channel enhanced the stock enhancement goal, and provided an important public outreach and education opportunity for the hatchery.