Steelhead hatcheries: good or bad?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Denny, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. wolverine

    wolverine Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Messages:
    578
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Everett, WA
    The way I see it is that with the Snocrummy no longer having hatchery steelhead and sports anglers not being allowed to fish on the nates when there are nates in the river, the sports effort will switch to the Sky. This increased effort will grind the Sky fishery into oblivion. Of course the states answer to this will be shut down the hatcheries that put fish into the Sky. Effort will then move to the Green. See where I'm going here? The state will initially save money by not having to fund the hatcheries but long term will see revenues from lic sales drop. We need to face the fact that without a viable hatchery system we will have no sport steelhead fisheries. Will the tribes stop netting? Of course not as there's money to be made. We better hope that the tribes, feds, and state figure out a way to make hatchery systems viable. If not there's going to be a lot of fishing gear being dumped for pennies on the dollar at garage sales.
     
  2. Dale Dennis

    Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    529
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Arlington, WA
    I agree totally Tom, and the Whitlock approach has been tried here (in the late 60’s early 70’s) and was successful I might add but was stopped by WDFW for reasons that are unknown to me.
     
  3. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,218
    Likes Received:
    1,308
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    Tom/Double-D -
    As Double-D alluded to Vibert boxes have been used with steelhead in this area. My recollection is that those attempts were in the 1970s and early 1980s. The boxes were successful in hatching the eyed eggs. However there was little or no evident that they were successful in producing additional adults back to the rivers. The reason of course it that the use of egg boxes ignores the biological needs of steelhead.

    Except in very rare cases the production bottlenecks of steelhead production is not getting eggs out of the gravel but the amount and quality of habitat for juvenile rearing. With the extended freshwater rearing the juvenile steelhead need specific summer and winter rearing habitats that fits the needs of both young fry as well as parr.

    In short generally the best thing for the wild populations is to allow the wild fish to do their own thing in the waters of their choice.

    Double-D -
    I remember quite clearly why the egg box program was ended on the North Fork of the Stillaguamish. There were summer eggs planted in several of the NF tribs. It was soon discovered that a number of wild winter fish were using the same habitats. It did not (and still does not) make sense to plant exotics on top of existing wild populations.
    However the local fly club was offered the opportunity that if they could find streams that were not being adequately seeded with steelhead that an box program would be considered. After some survey work by club member a list of potential candidtates was developed. The local bio aided by club members visited each potential site with an electro fisher to see if there many juvenile steelhead in the candidate streams. In each and every case the streams were found to loaded with young steelhead. That effectively ended the egg box program - It seemed that the State placed a higher value on the native winters rather than the local fly fisher's desire for more summer fish.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  4. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    2,028
    Likes Received:
    143
    Location:
    Roy, WA
    That's it.
    I'm packing my shit and moving to Kamchatka.
     
  5. Tom O'Riley

    Tom O'Riley Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Snohomish
    Wild fish (see definitions) do not use the system as well and do not respond to habitat changes as well as natives i.e.: temp and water fluctuations. They tend to use lower tribbs which are more likely subjected to degradation and not get as high up in the systems i.e.: more main stream breeders than the true native stocks this has been proved in So Cal. Were native still exist. Verberts used in years past were only using hatchery eggs to my understanding and there in lies the problem.
     
  6. ChrisC

    ChrisC Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    .
    iagree

    Very well put. My personal experience is that hatcheries concentrate fish and fishermen.
     
  7. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    2,811
    Likes Received:
    87
    Location:
    Tacoma

    Read the actual text of the Boldt decision sometime. While you may not agree with the ruling, you'll begin to understand that the 50% decision was more due to a misguided attempt by the state to have control over a federal treaty. Either way, since it's federal, we don't have a whole lot of recourse. Besides, the tribes didn't build the dams, and opposed them at most turns.
     
  8. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    2,811
    Likes Received:
    87
    Location:
    Tacoma

    From a sport fishing experience, that is true. Having more fish more spread out would be great. But unfortunately unmanaged fish without a collection facility has proven to encourage straying which in turn is bad for wild fish. It's an evil catch 22, and I frankly would want to be the person having to make those management decisions.

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     
  9. Preston

    Preston Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Messages:
    2,817
    Likes Received:
    924
    Location:
    .
    corysean99,
    This has been pointed out many times in the past, but someone always fails to get the message. Tribal fishing is protected by treaty right. Treaty rights are protected by FEDERAL law. There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING that can be done at the state level to alter the terms of the Boldt decision without the cooperation and agreement of the tribes (who are officially co-managers of the resource). The state of Washington has taken the issue all the way to the US Supreme Court on two occasions, and lost.
     
  10. Curtis

    Curtis New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Messages:
    859
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bothell

    Good point here!! How about triploid steelhead??
     
  11. yuhina

    yuhina Tropical member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,320
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Boston-Idaho
    Home Page:
     
  12. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,218
    Likes Received:
    1,308
    Location:
    Marysville, Washington
    Actually there has been some discussion of creating sterile steelhead.

    Remember that steelhead return to our rivers to spawn. Sterile fish never sexually mature. Looks to a win/win. Not only would the sterile steelhead never spawn in the wild they would never return to the river thus moving any fishing for them and the associated impacts on the co-mingled wild fish to the high seas. Talk about getting away from impacts on the wild fish on our local waters.

    Anyone have a boat capable of making the run to the international dateline for a little steelhead fishing (wild steelhead release of course)?

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  13. HauntedByWaters

    HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,904
    Likes Received:
    260
    Location:
    Bellingham
    I totally see what you are saying but I think I wasn't clear enough.

    I wasn't advocating spreading hatchery fish out, I meant what I said as a reason that a river managed for wild fish will better for a sportsman. If those natural resources (the ones the rear fish while in rivers) weren't mostly going to hatchery smolts, we would have wild fish that would be far more spread out and integrated throughout a river system.
     
  14. yuhina

    yuhina Tropical member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    2,320
    Likes Received:
    52
    Location:
    Boston-Idaho
    Home Page:
    Thanks Curt!
    Good point and interesting fact!

    I am not familiar with sterile steelhead, but there are some of hybrid species do return and try to spawn. I guess it is species wise differences. Hybrid stripers do run up to the spawning ground in our river systems. It would be nice to know if there are other sterile treatment that still maintain the spawning instinct.

    http://afs.allenpress.com/perlserv/....1577/1548-8675(2000)020<0575:LAROJS>2.3.CO;2

    an interesting article - few returns after the sterile treatment.
    Mark
     
  15. Tom O'Riley

    Tom O'Riley Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Snohomish
    Maybe I am wrong but it sound like nobody's interested in restoring native stocks. All hachery fish have negitive impact on native stocks sterile or not.