Steelhead Science?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by prosopium, Nov 2, 2005.

  1. Skeena88

    Skeena88 Member

    Dec 2, 2004
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    Covington WA
    Crettke, Tom B has given you a good start on the hatchery vs wild stuff. There is a ton of literature out there on that. My library is at work, so I don't have specific papers/citations at hand, but suggest you look at the American Fisheries Society website for recent publications in Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. and in "Fisheries" from AFS. Look at Journal Table of Contents. There has been some very recent discussions in AFS publications about the role of hatcheries in either impacting or potentially aiding recovery of threatened populations. Can J Fish. Aqu. Sci. table of contents might also have some interesting stuff. Other sources would be a web search for "CRITFC AND Methow", and "USFWS AND Steelhead AND Methow". If this is for college/university, your library should have a literature search engine to allow you search the peer reviewed journals at no charge.
    The regs that prohibit taking fish out of the water before release just make physiological sense to reduce stress and post release mortality.
  2. jackchinook

    jackchinook Member

    Jan 15, 2004
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    Winthrop, WA
    As Curt said, it may be a leap of faith to use studies from different from different watersheds to draw conclusions about your local watershed. However, at some point short of studying EVERYTHING about every population, some leaps of faith need to be made....and I'm sure he's merely playing devil's advocate.

    I don't know of any previously published stuff specifically dealing with steelhead in the Methow and I work here (though primarily with Chinook). WDFW, Yakama Indian Nation, Douglas Co., etc. have been working with steelhead for a while now, and are looking at comparisons between wild and hatchery survivals. The ultimate goal of course, is to compare survivals between hatchery and wild fish, as well as hatchery progeny which have HxH, HxW and WxW parentage to test for significant differences....and specifically compare those to survivals of actual wild fish....which is tougher to do since you must have techniques which are statistically sound (read: large sample sizes) or there will be someone there with an agenda telling you your numbers are crap.

    Right now, this means capturing wild fish in rotary smolt traps as they outmigrate as smolts, inserting thousands of passive integrated transponders (PIT tags) into them, and calculating survivals from release, down stream through the dams, and back up the dams in 1-3 years.

    WDFW took this project over in 2003 and is just beginning to see returns from the initial releases. I'm not going to overstep my bounds and report the results from something I don't directly do but will chime back in when there's something solid (and no longer preliminary) to report, and that should be fairly soon.
  3. Northlake27

    Northlake27 Member

    Mar 10, 2004
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    Twisp wa, us.
    I fished the Methow last week with Jackchinook and he bonked a hatchery buck, when cleaning it he found a PIT tag and he explained how they are able to track this fish as a smolt through all the dams down the Columbia and then all the way back through Wells dam as a adult.
    Pretty amazing technology. To me something like this would produce some very solid data.