Fishing forum > What does everybody think about this?

Author Topic: What does everybody think about this?

This article was in today's news. How do you feel about the government stepping in and making these decisions?
capt josh

Ahh...the old pandoras box...

The truth is there's a lot of opinions and very little fact...we remain largely in the dark concerning the past, present, and future of our resources...particularly steelhead. Who is to say that augmenting wild stocks in not an appropriate solution to dwindling populations? And who is to say it isn't? We've upset the natural balance for eons so there's little room for an argument supporting a natural my opinion it's too late for that...and who's to say the remaining wild fish in the river are not offspring from decades of augmentation? It's a stew too riddled with variables to clearly identify a viable solution...if it were up to me i'd maintain the hatchery augmentation because at least there would be fish in the system...and i suppose from a purely selfish point of view that is what's best for us fishermen!
The Yak

this has been a big discussion on other sites and beat to death... but i agree with josh... i dont think we can stop supplimenting, i dont think wild stocks are strong enogh in numbers to make that great of a recovery..

Here's some input from a guy with a better than average background in genetics... By spawning Steelhead, a hatchery will take a certain genetic make up of a population and increases that random genotype in its gene pool; doing so will increase the ratio of that genotype compared to other genotypes in the population.

It does this by offering the progeny of those selected fish a better survival rate than that of its wild counterparts. Is this my opinion, no.

If steelhead are identical in life cycle to salmon, then the smolts stay in the river of one year. During this time many parish. A hatchery protects the offspring from all those factors for the period of captivity and offers the captive smolts optimum growing conditions.

Thus a hatchery program guarantees more smolts survive up to the point of their release. At the point of release the same factors that affect the wild stock (natural selection, environment, fishing pressure, etc) take effect on the hatchery stock too. All the hatchery has done is guaranteed that more of that couples' offspring make it through that first year. Thus it increases the chance for more returning adults.

These returning fish, which have been in a natural setting for 75% of their lives, have been equally affected by natural selection during that time. I would think these fish are as competitive (genetically viable) as their wild counterparts.

Issues do lie in using the same genotype year after year as it can lead to the concentration of undesirable genes but as long as hatchery fish arent used as the only source of brood stock, then that issue shouldnt be too bad.

Frankly, I would rather see a weak gene pool than not one at all.

Look at the Thompson though. In 1913 there was a major rockslide due to construction that blocked the river. I think it was that incident that really took a toll on the Steelhead population and forced a hatchery program.

I believe the hatchery has been offline for decades now. It was able to keep the steelhead population from going into extinction and in fact through augmentation, a critical mass was achieved and the run now is self-sustaining (just barely maybe). I think that it is safe to say that with out the actions of a hatchery the run would be extinct.

Look at the quality of fish that are there now...most likely you are looking at a fish that has hatchery genes in it from somewhere far down the line!

Fishing forum > What does everybody think about this?


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