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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at regulations for hatchery retention on the Queets as i saw a report here that looked like native fish....

http://www.northwestfishingreports.com/ReportComment.aspx?id=8133&lid=8732&t=3

But when i looked at the NPS regs it said that hatchery fish are identified by a less than 2 and 1/8th inch dorsal fin....how the heck would that indicate a hatchery fish? Thanks for any decent explanations!
 

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The tribe doesn't clip their fish, so the dorsal is a pretty good indicator of hatchery versus wild.
Dorsal fins on hatchery fish are kind of limp and chewed up.
Have a credit card handy. If the dorsal is less then the height of a credit card (2 1/8"), bonk away.
SF
 

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Stonefish's post is essentially correct. The Quinault Tribe has clipped steelhead smolts in the range of 8 - 10% because that is enough for their statistical evaluation needs. Those needs don't include identifying individual fish as hatchery or wild because they adopted a policy that hatchery and wild fish are the same, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.

The commonly observed stubbed dorsal fins on hatchery steelhead are generally less than 2 1/8" high. However, some large hatchery fish have taller dorsals, and a some small wild fish have shorter dorsals. So the regulation is decidedly imperfect.

Sg
 

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Don't know for sure if the tribe transports smolts upstream into the park on the Queets, so the bulk of the hatchery fish will be returning their hatchery on the Salmon River. Your chances of catching hatchery fish above the mouth of the salmon should be greatly reduced if they don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wouldn't bonk a fish without being very sure of it, and using this method i wouldn't ever bonk a fish. Kind of surprised this is the NPark's stance given the ambiguity. Thanks for the insight.
 

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I wouldn't bonk a fish without being very sure of it, and using this method i wouldn't ever bonk a fish. Kind of surprised this is the NPark's stance given the ambiguity. Thanks for the insight.
I don't think the park has a say in whether the tribe marks their hatch fish. Given what they have to work with, the reg makes sense. I have never caught a hatchery fish from that river. My understanding from those who have is that the dorsal test is pretty accurate.
Letting a hatch fish swim is nearly as bad as killing a wild so you may want to take a look at any fish you catch low in the system.

Go sox,
Cds
 

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I wouldn't bonk a fish without being very sure of it, and using this method i wouldn't ever bonk a fish. Kind of surprised this is the NPark's stance given the ambiguity. Thanks for the insight.
I don't mean to assume you haven't caught many hatchery steelhead... but the dorsal fin malformation is pretty obvious in-person. It's chewed up, oddly angled, and soft and stiff in weird places. Small sample size compared to some, but of the ~30 or so winter hatchery fish I've run into, I don't think I've ever seen a hatchery steelhead dorsal fin that would have been passable as a wild fin. They're very clearly malformed as opposed to being the product of trauma. Has anyone else, other than maybe net pen fish?

The credit card rule exists only because that's the only objective criteria possible. Yes, it's imperfect.
 

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I don't mean to assume you haven't caught many hatchery steelhead... but the dorsal fin malformation is pretty obvious in-person. It's chewed up, oddly angled, and soft and stiff in weird places. Small sample size compared to some, but of the ~30 or so winter hatchery fish I've run into, I don't think I've ever seen a hatchery steelhead dorsal fin that would have been passable as a wild fin. They're very clearly malformed as opposed to being the product of trauma. Has anyone else, other than maybe net pen fish?

The credit card rule exists only because that's the only objective criteria possible. Yes, it's imperfect.
Most of the hatchery fish I've caught have dorsals that are quite obviously malformed. It's clear without the need for measuring, credit cards, etc.

That said, I do remember one summer hatchery run, now discontinued, that would pump out some fish with very clean looking fins. I don't remember if they all had clean fins, but there were enough that I took notice and remembered it.
 

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Tribe doesn't truck the fish up into the park; that would defeat their purpose, since they can't gillnet up there (or I should say they can't do so legally!).

The problem is really their practice based on the flawed assumption that hatchery and wild fish are the same, and not clipping them. The rule is the best we (rec's) can come up with to protect some precious early-running Queets nates. It's simple enough, and the bent dorsal fins are easy enough to identify. My issue is really that over the last couple years I had to turn loose a few hatchery fish with bent fins which were still too tall; bummed me out turning those magnum brats loose, knowing they were factory models. It hurt my smoker's feelings.

fb
 

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Stonefish's post is essentially correct. The Quinault Tribe has clipped steelhead smolts in the range of 8 - 10% because that is enough for their statistical evaluation needs. Those needs don't include identifying individual fish as hatchery or wild because they adopted a policy that hatchery and wild fish are the same, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
Are there citations that I should read that describe multi-generational reduced reproductive success in hatchery steelhead from native broodstock operations like the Quinault, rather than hatchery steelhead from established hatchery brood lines, bred to grow to release size quickly in a hatchery and return early, for instance Araki, et al. ?
 

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I think so Paul. Since I don't memorize the author's name of every paper I read I don't have it off the top of my head for you. I think there is a steelhead paper indicating that a single generation of hatchery culture reduces natural reproduction fitness.

But for the sake of argument, let's say there isn't any such paper. The reduced fitness of hatchery fish to reproduce in the natural environment has to begin sometime. I think it's logical that it would begin in the first generation., with the largest shift in survival potential occurring in the first generation and with additive, but decreasing increments, in subsequent generations. What do you think?

On the flip side, are there any reports I can review documenting that Quinault hatchery reared steelhead spawn and reproduce just as successfully as their wild counterparts? I don't think I've heard or read of any examples of that happening.
 

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Paul -
You might try WDFW's Puget Sound Steelhead advisory group

wdfw.wa.gov/about/advisory/pssag.

The foundational information should provide some light reading that potentially would address your concerns. I would start with the first Araki paper and WDFW's Steelhead assessment paper.

Curt
 

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On the flip side, are there any reports I can review documenting that Quinault hatchery reared steelhead spawn and reproduce just as successfully as their wild counterparts? I don't think I've heard or read of any examples of that happening.
I'd love to see how that data is accurately collected.
 

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TE="fishbadger, post: 1266226, member: 11455"]I'd love to see the QIN utilize the data in revising their hatchery practices (even though I frankly love catching those big brats. . .guilty pleasures),

fb[/QUOTE]
you were pullin plugs....admit it :)
 
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