Groups sue Washington wildlife agency over steelhead farms

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. (AP) — Four nonprofit groups are suing the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife for issuing a permit for steelhead farms in the marine waters of Skagit and Kitsap counties. Wild Fish Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Food Safety and Friends of the Earth say allowing Cooke Aquaculture to raise steelhead in floating net pens would jeopardize the region’s wild steelhead, salmon and endangered Southern Resident orca whales. Puget Sound steelhead, including those from the Skagit River, have been listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act since 2007.