Article Hatchery-Raised "Natural" Spawners

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by freestoneangler, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Directly from the state WA so desperately seeks to emulate....

    Excerpt from Nov/Dec NWFF
    It goes against accepted fish management, but California is allowing hatchery coho salmon to spawn "naturally" in Salmon Creek. It's the fourth year for hatchery-to-natural salmon spawning in Sonoma County. State fish managers believe that hatchery coho spawning in streams will "establish natural mating patterns and subject offspring to natural selective pressures". That's a 180 degrees frum all other coastal wild fish recovery programs, wherein the emphasis in on confining hatchery spawners to eliminate competition with wild spawners in anadromous streams. Manfred Kittel, California Department of Fish and Game coho salmon recovery coordinator, says the "aggressive" action is necessary. "We are at a critical moment in the survival of the coho salmon on the California coast" he warns.

    Hatchery-raised natural spawners... hey if CA says it's the path forward, who are we to argue? :D
     
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  2. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    Washington has been doing that for 50 years on the lower columbia tribs. Go to the Kalama or any other hatchery coho river and you'll see them spawning in the wild by the hundreds if not thousands well maybe 1000 yet one thing you almost never see is an unclipped adult. Why do you suppose that is????
     
  3. Anil

    Anil Active Member

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    At considerable risk to my reputation I’ll pose the following question:
    Why is this an accepted technique for rehabilitating populations of mammals and Birds (Pandas, California Condors, Black Footed Ferrets…) but is considered sacrilegious in fisheries management, even when they use “brood stock” fish like they were doing on the Sol Duc? I know that the ‘fitness’ of their offspring is questionable, but I imagine the same thing is true of captive bread animals everywhere. I’ve never heard conservationists bitching about those damn ‘hatchery Condors!’
     
  4. sashjo

    sashjo Member

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    I caught a coho with an extra fin just yesterday. A fluke?
     
  5. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    It isn't "sacriligeous" when rehabbing fish runs. The S. Fork Nooksack has a broodstock program for spring kings. The upper C tribs use hatcheries in their management under the current structure. The ESA allows for the use of hatcheries for depressed stocks. Certainly hatchery fish attempting to spawn in the wild is favored over no fish trying to spawn in the wild. To think of hatcheries as sacraligous is kind of silly given the amount of them we have.

    In the case of the Duc you have a river that generally meets escapement. There is no rehabilitation needed. In fact, if they weren't netted at the current rate we'd all feel really good about the run. Mining wild fish to create a hatchery fish that could then further reduce wild stocks by spawning wild wilds seems like an expensive way to move backwards.

    Hatcheries provide benefits. People get confused though when they mistake salmon for steelhead or healthy river systems/ runs with damaged and depressed runs. California is trying to use coho hatcheries for the same reason that Washington is on the N. Fork Nook for springers. When the population gets super low, the idea is to flood the gravel with fish even if they aren't as productive. This is a strategy more likely to be effective with some fish than others.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
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  6. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    It's certainly extremely rare in the Lower columbia except in the Sandy and the Wilamette, including the Clackamas..
    The reason that Washington's lower columbia coho are not a listed species is because there are not enough of them to make up a significant population therefore they are not "warranted for listing" in short as a population they are already extinct so what's the point in listing them, at least from the federal government's point of view.
     
  7. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    I do not agree.
     
  8. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Where did hatchery fish come from. They aren't something grown in a petri dish. They all came from wild fish. So the desire to spawn is still in all the hatchery fish. So why get so upset when a hatchery brat tries to spawn with a wild fish.

    Just because it's parents were grown in a cement pond doesn't mean all their instincts are gone. They still run and hide when they see us humans.
     
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  9. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    if they are same watershed broodstock Im less offended by the idea. What I do not want is skamania steel mixing with Stilliguamish fish, or Samish Coho mixing with NF Nooksack coho. etc etc etc. Preserving the adapted genetics of that river systemis of paramount importance
     
  10. Flyborg

    Flyborg Active Member

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    They've been doing it a lot longer than 50 years on some of the lower columbia tribs. For salmon, at least, there's zero chance of recovering any true native genetics on rivers like the Cowlitz, Kalama and Lewis.

    Hatcheries shouldn't exist everywhere. But just getting rid of them won't miraculously bring back all the native fish in every watershed.
     
  11. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    The California coho experiment isn't the preferred alternative, but when bonafide native wild populations are down to so few in number as to be functionally extinct, the use of hatchery surrogates is sometimes the only feasible alternative left. Plus, coho are demonstrated to be the most "plastic-elastic" salmonids when it comes to adaptation to new nor changed environments. At least they are in WA. If they are also in CA, then the experiment has a high chance of resulting in a naturally reproducing and self-sustaining coho population if the habitat is suitable to coho. The quality of the habitat is the main issue IMO.

    "Hatcheries shouldn't exist everywhere. But just getting rid of them won't miraculously bring back all the native fish in every watershed."

    Very true, Flyborg.

    Sg
     
  12. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    I think that in some cases eliminating hatchery plants has restored
    Runs without much other work... Examples like the Wind and South Toutle are prime examples.... When given a chance wild fish will do their thing.
     
  13. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    To quote Shakespeare, "AH, THERE IS THE RUB. We seldom give the much of a chance.
     
  14. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    exactly!!!!

    The reason i am so against hatchery fish and their use to restore wild runs well first of all it has never worked and secondly it fills us with the idea that we can have fish but not do the necessary work to have fish.. The whole salmon without rivers scenario laid out in James Lichatowich's book. That's a slippery slope we have seen too much of already.
     
  15. Olive bugger

    Olive bugger Active Member

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    Netting the mating runs puts fish on the table, and money in the bank, for a few. It does little to help restore the runs. I do not have a lot of confidence that there will be a moratorium on nets, however.