Worth watching

Jim Darden

Active Member
good film but too long for most folks to watch, other than us that follow the issue. I would like to see a shorter more hard hitting video that we can show to the neophyte that would convey the issue. The casual observer is easily convinced that the answer to the problems is more hatcheries...they are doing it in Alaska. Maybe they should show the return percent on the Skagit over time to make the point. I am a Steelheader but don't plan to be around here much longer, just like the fish!!
 

Shad

Active Member
good film but too long for most folks to watch, other than us that follow the issue. I would like to see a shorter more hard hitting video that we can show to the neophyte that would convey the issue. The casual observer is easily convinced that the answer to the problems is more hatcheries...they are doing it in Alaska. Maybe they should show the return percent on the Skagit over time to make the point. I am a Steelheader but don't plan to be around here much longer, just like the fish!!
In my days of casual observation, I always assumed the first step to recovering wild salmon was to quit killing so many of them in the ocean. As a result of killing fewer salmon in the ocean, we'd see more in the rivers, and the steelhead, bull trout, whitefish, suckers, pikeminnow, etc. that depend on the nutrients salmon provide to the watersheds should respond in kind.

I still believe that. We can hatch whatever we want; if we don't quit planning to harvest every last fish and starve our rivers, it won't result in any measure of recovery... only a lot more money spent on a few more fish to market.
 

Phil Fravel

Friendly
It's just obvious that wild fish do better than Hatchery fish. Look how great our pink returns have been for the most part over the last 20 years. I'm not saying Hatchery don't have a place for recovery. But it seems like best if left alone
It will be interesting to watch the Chum run decline. Now that its following the path of Chonook, Coho,and Sterlhead
 
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Yardus Maximus

Active Member
Great post!

It definitely challenged my perception of hatchery vs. wild fish. Although I think I understand the interests that placed hatchery's on the Elwa, it is unfortunate that the river wasn't allowed to return naturally and used as a research control to clearly determine whether habitat restoration could result in a native resurgence without being impacted by test tube babies. I'd like to see hatcheries removed on a few PNW rivers, Skagit being one, where there are still reasonable populations of native fish present and see what happens over a 10 year cycle. Sadly there is no cash cow to fund this kind research.

As Shad eluded to, over harvest is the biggest elephant in the room IMHO. I would like to see the US get more involved with tracking all the pacific ocean nations fishing fleets to see where they're fishing and what and how much they're taking. What is the international fleet take in the open ocean? anyone have any data they can share?
 

Phil Fravel

Friendly
Great post!

It definitely challenged my perception of hatchery vs. wild fish. Although I think I understand the interests that placed hatchery's on the Elwa, it is unfortunate that the river wasn't allowed to return naturally and used as a research control to clearly determine whether habitat restoration could result in a native resurgence without being impacted by test tube babies. I'd like to see hatcheries removed on a few PNW rivers, Skagit being one, where there are still reasonable populations of native fish present and see what happens over a 10 year cycle. Sadly there is no cash cow to fund this kind research.

As Shad eluded to, over harvest is the biggest elephant in the room IMHO. I would like to see the US get more involved with tracking all the pacific ocean nations fishing fleets to see where they're fishing and what and how much they're taking. What is the international fleet take in the open ocean? anyone have any data they can share?
I would say the research has been done in an indirect way on the Puyallup in Nisqually River. Both Rivers have been closed down to Hatchery steelhead for quite some time. Both. Rivers had great rebounds up until the blob and Below summer water conditions. Another river with similar results was the Toutle after the Mount Saint Helens eruption
 

Gary Thompson

dirty dog
I too believe that over fishing for the salmon/steelhead in the ocean would be a big help in returning fish.
Over fishing period in the oceans is a big problem.
There are a lot of mouths to feed in this world and the ocean has been the main meat market for to long.
There is no easy answer to the problem
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
We can certainly end hatchery production of salmon and steelhead, but you likely won’t be fishing much for either in Washington if that happens in my opinion.

I’m all for wild fish, but I’m also a believer that hatcheries have there place. Hopefully with ongoing hatchery reforms practices, hatchery fish can better co-exist with wild fish populations.

Mixed stock ocean harvest is certainly a place to look, but I’d start by looking north to see how many Washington fish are taken before they ever get a chance to reach Washington waters on their return journey home to spawn.
SF
 
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Shad

Active Member
We can certainly end hatchery production of salmon and steelhead, but you likely won’t be fishing much for either in Washington if that happens in my opinion.

I’m all for wild fish, but I’m also a believer that hatcheries have there place. Hopefully with ongoing hatchery reforms practices, hatchery fish can better co-exist with wild fish populations.

Mixed stock ocean harvest is certainly a place to look, but I’d start by looking north to see how many Washington fish are taken before they ever get a chance to reach Washington waters on their return journey home to spawn.
SF
We're talking about the same thing, @Stonefish. Lots of fish get taken in WA offshore fisheries, but many more are taken, in both commercial and rec ocean fisheries, before any fish hit the Tatoosh-Bonilla line. The hell of it is it's largely guys from Seattle doing all the heavy commercial harvesting up north. Pretty hard to argue we aren't getting our share when it's mostly folks from around here doing the majority of the pillaging, but that's the hand we've been dealt.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
There is nothing "artifishal" in the film's negative slant about fish hatcheries. As some of you might expect, I'm bothered by the way the film exaggerates some of the negative effects of hatcheries and takes other information out of context. First off, let me make this clear: hatchery fish don't often do wild fish any favors. The flip side of this is that in most cases hatchery fish don't cause as extreme negative effects as the film would have us believe. In a complex world like anadromous fisheries, most of the facts lie in that amorphous gray zone rather than in the more easily deciphered black and white.

Sometimes the issues are pretty clear, like with the trout streams in Montana. Stocking hatchery trout in healthy trout streams depressed the populations of wild trout. On the other hand, stocking Chambers Creek hatchery winter steelhead in western WA streams cannot be demonstrated to have depressed the abundance of wild winter steelhead in those same streams. Sure, there are correlations between the stocking of the hatchery steelhead and low wild steelhead abundance. But we have discussed enough here that most of you should now understand that correlation doesn't necessarily prove causation. It might be. Or it might not be. And if you omit other relevant information, it is really easy to paint a negative agenda-serving outcome.

The one I like is the story about how the Toutle River came back with wild steelhead post-eruption of Mt St Helens and the cessation of stocking hatchery steelhead. OK, how about including that the comeback was limited to the far less affected SF Toutle River only, and did and still does not include the NF or mainstem Toutle Rivers? And how about noting that the SF Toutle River resurgence occurred at exactly the same time that wild steelhead runs throughout the region, both SW WA, coastal rivers, Puget Sound, and Salish Sea rivers up into BC were all experiencing increased wild steelhead abundance and productivity? Gosh, that seems relevant. Oh, and then when SF Toutle wild steelhead abundance began to decline, and although stocking of hatchery steelhead smolts resumed, that same decline also occurred in the rivers in those regions I just described? Wouldn't that be relevant information to include suggesting causes other than or in addition to the stocking of hatchery fish? Unless you're pushing a negative hatchery fish agenda, that is. You see, there is plenty of negative things that can be said about the effects of using hatchery fish, especially massive industrial scale hatchery operations. That can be done without using exaggeration and without taking stories out of context.

And as one of the resident objective realists, that's what I wish they had done with the film. But, what the hell, sensationalism sells better.
 

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
There is nothing "artifishal" in the film's negative slant about fish hatcheries. As some of you might expect, I'm bothered by the way the film exaggerates some of the negative effects of hatcheries and takes other information out of context.
The whole thing that bothers me about the hatchery vs wild argument remains wild runs are not thriving. If two returning hatchery fish spawn they have offspring that are considered "wild" to a fisherman or WDFW. But genetically they really aren't all that wild.... The reality at this stage of declining runs of migratory fish remains the broader the genetic pool the better the chance of survival, so long as you have breeding pairs.

If you have hatcheries dumping viable fry, mix up the eggs and milt from a genetic variety of wild fish from across the PNW, Canada, Kamchatka or wherever to promote a variety pack of genetic offspring that might just have some tendencies for survival
 

Phil Fravel

Friendly
Salmo_g. I always love your post. I have a question that I heard on pod cast. I think it was april Volky interviewing Bill Mc Millen.It went somthing like this. Or at least this is what I thought they were saying.

One of the main problems with hatchery fish, is that most of the eggs hatch. Then raised in an ideal environment up untill released.

Compared to only like 10 percent of the eggs hatch on wild fish spawning naturally . I believe the explanation went on to say this was one way the fish with the best genes survive the early stages of life.

This went on to say having more fish span wild with only 10 percent suriving was far superior to having a hatchery using less fish but having higher production.

Hope I worded this well enough for you to understand.

Thanks again and any input is appreciated
 
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kamishak steve

Active Member
There is nothing "artifishal" in the film's negative slant about fish hatcheries. As some of you might expect, I'm bothered by the way the film exaggerates some of the negative effects of hatcheries and takes other information out of context. First off, let me make this clear: hatchery fish don't often do wild fish any favors. The flip side of this is that in most cases hatchery fish don't cause as extreme negative effects as the film would have us believe. In a complex world like anadromous fisheries, most of the facts lie in that amorphous gray zone rather than in the more easily deciphered black and white.

Sometimes the issues are pretty clear, like with the trout streams in Montana. Stocking hatchery trout in healthy trout streams depressed the populations of wild trout. On the other hand, stocking Chambers Creek hatchery winter steelhead in western WA streams cannot be demonstrated to have depressed the abundance of wild winter steelhead in those same streams. Sure, there are correlations between the stocking of the hatchery steelhead and low wild steelhead abundance. But we have discussed enough here that most of you should now understand that correlation doesn't necessarily prove causation. It might be. Or it might not be. And if you omit other relevant information, it is really easy to paint a negative agenda-serving outcome.

The one I like is the story about how the Toutle River came back with wild steelhead post-eruption of Mt St Helens and the cessation of stocking hatchery steelhead. OK, how about including that the comeback was limited to the far less affected SF Toutle River only, and did and still does not include the NF or mainstem Toutle Rivers? And how about noting that the SF Toutle River resurgence occurred at exactly the same time that wild steelhead runs throughout the region, both SW WA, coastal rivers, Puget Sound, and Salish Sea rivers up into BC were all experiencing increased wild steelhead abundance and productivity? Gosh, that seems relevant. Oh, and then when SF Toutle wild steelhead abundance began to decline, and although stocking of hatchery steelhead smolts resumed, that same decline also occurred in the rivers in those regions I just described? Wouldn't that be relevant information to include suggesting causes other than or in addition to the stocking of hatchery fish? Unless you're pushing a negative hatchery fish agenda, that is. You see, there is plenty of negative things that can be said about the effects of using hatchery fish, especially massive industrial scale hatchery operations. That can be done without using exaggeration and without taking stories out of context.

And as one of the resident objective realists, that's what I wish they had done with the film. But, what the hell, sensationalism sells better.
Its hard to make a punchy catchy film that tries to explain the complex and highly nuanced problem of declining salmon/steelhead populations along our coast. We have been studying these animals in earnest for 100 years and still hardly understand them, let alone what precisely may be contributing to their decline.
It makes a much better film to pick a single culprit, portray it as the smoking gun, the root of all our problems, and, boy, if we could just get rid of them, we'd suddenly restore historic levels of salmon and steelhead overnight. :rolleyes:
I'm with you, there are so many confounding variables to salmon and steelhead decline, that even the best designed studies have a hard time saying with any complete certainty what is going on, but likely is a combination of a multitude of problems ranging from commercial fishing, oceanic pollution/acidification, habitat destruction, sport fishers catching the same hoh river steelhead three times during it's spawning run and contributing to reduced survival, increased pinniped populations, overharvest of baitfish. Throw in some decadal oscillation and you've got a mess.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
The whole thing that bothers me about the hatchery vs wild argument remains wild runs are not thriving. If two returning hatchery fish spawn they have offspring that are considered "wild" to a fisherman or WDFW. But genetically they really aren't all that wild.... The reality at this stage of declining runs of migratory fish remains the broader the genetic pool the better the chance of survival, so long as you have breeding pairs.

If you have hatcheries dumping viable fry, mix up the eggs and milt from a genetic variety of wild fish from across the PNW, Canada, Kamchatka or wherever to promote a variety pack of genetic offspring that might just have some tendencies for survival
Boot,

Wild runs are not thriving. The reasons are many. Hatchery fish are part of the explanation, mainly because of too many hatchery pink and chum salmon foraging in the N. Pacific and the presence of hatchery Chinook and coho intermingled with wild Chinook and coho as "mixed" stocks that then get fished at too high an exploitation rate for the wild stocks to sustain. Those are real and significant problems that are nearly impossible to fix due to multiple jurisdictions with authority. But to cherry pick and paint fish hatcheries with the broad brush as the universal and proximate cause of reduced wild fish abundance is simplistically misleading, inaccurate and wrong.

In the case of anadromous fish, a broader genetic pool as you describe would be as bad as trying to cure wild fish problems by stocking more hatchery fish. The genetic tendencies for survival are contained within endemic natural stocks and the stocks of adjacent and nearby watersheds. Using stocks from geographically distant watersheds has - you guessed it - already been tried. Doesn't work.

Sg
 

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