The public will now have until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, to comment on the draft environmental impact statement for Puget Sound hatcheries.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the public comment period extension Thursday. The agency decided to grant the extension in response to a formal request.

After its release in July, the document spurred an interest with Skagit County anglers who want to see their ability to fish for salmon and steelhead in the Skagit River sustained.

At a meeting in Sedro-Woolley Sept. 11, community members raised concerns specifically about Skagit River steelhead, which were the subject of a lawsuit between the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Wild Fish Conservancy earlier this year.

The draft report is available online at skagit.ws/NOAAsalmon.

Send comments by email to PShatcheryEIS.wcr@noaa.gov; fax to 206-526-6426; or mail to William W. Stelle Jr., Regional Administrator NMFS West Coast Region, 7600 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.

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