According to information released Tuesday by the Department of Natural Resources, an exploratory plan is being put in place to look at inland fish facilities.

Plan would create inland, or dryland, fish farms, and hatcheries

According to DNR Chief Hilary Franz, by way of information release:

 "Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz signed today a partnership agreement with Nova Scotia-based Sustainable Blue, a zero discharge, land-based salmon farming company, to identify opportunities for siting sustainable finfish aquaculture in Washington State"

Much of the reason for the plan is stemming from a natural 'disaster' that occurred a few years ago. In 2017 net pens for finfish on Cypress Island collapsed, spilling thousands of non-native Atlantic salmon into waters surrounding the area. DNR and native American tribes said this spill was a threat to northwest native salmon, and over the next few years DNR began to re-evaluate fish net and pen practices.

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  Now, this plan would explore inland facilities

Due to this incident, such fish pens are no longer leased on state-owned aquatic lands. According to DNR:

" The agreement also represents the first step in a long-term partnership to explore multiple facility locations that are not reliant on marine or watershed environments."

According to DNR, work will begin this spring on exploring possible sites.


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