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William Olson

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Reply with quote  #16 
Down in the states the real reason for artificial production out west was to appease commercial salmon fishing interests.  For the real damage to the fisheries ('down' here) occurred by about 1900.  Then they became the reason for allowing habitat destruction...go forth and multiply.  Steelhead hatcheries were a by-product as they were also not allowed to just go extinct. 

Steelhead hatcheries don't contribute anything in the way of a 'helping hand'.  They are not nearly as destructive, in and of themselves, to native fish populations as many like to push.  But they don't bring fish back or establish self sustaining runs on their own (I think there are two tributaries, one of which is on the O.P., where hatchery fish have established a self sustaining run).  This amongst the hundreds and hundreds of hatcheries throughout the lower 48's portion of the PNW.  Something goes haywire in the artificial breeding process.  Broodstock hatcheries are proving more dangerous as these fish are much better at spawning.  All the while they have the same horrendous effects by breeding wild fish out of existence.  They don't produce returning adults.   

This isn't the case with salmon species as there are numerous runs of fish that have resulted from hatchery plants.  The 'wild' but not native spring chinook in the CW are outplants from the Salmon river.  In 1927 a dam was constructed across the CW river in Lewiston.  Removed in 1963.  This dam wiped out the spring chinook and nearly took the steelhead with it.     
Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #17 
Yes some of the posts in that thread on Spey Pages were long winded. I'm not a biologist and don't know about a lot of this stuff so maybe they needed to be.

The one thing that I kept thinking while reading over there was I wish I knew who these people were and what their connections to these issues are. That would have made things much more meaningful to me and actually put some weight to their statements, and it is one of the main reasons we use our real names on this forum. If we can't discuss this stuff in an open manner and know who we are talking to and who is talking to us we will get even less accomplished then we do now and so far it's never been enough.

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Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
Jason Bates

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Reply with quote  #18 
I totally agree about openness and transparency, as the context of a certain comment adds real meaning.  I will say up front that I am no biologist, and that the natural world is FAR, FAR more complex than I will ever begin to understand.  I'm ok with that; love that actually.  I am not 100% anti hatchery, as from a practical standpoint I am not sure that we can, given all of the other changes (stresses) that we've created; yet it fries me that hatcheries seem to be one of the first "solutions" that comes to the table when talking about declining salmon and steelhead populations.  

My issue with hatcheries is that I see it as yet another example in a long history of humans thinking they see a better way.  We often think we understand a very complex system, only to find out many years later that we really didn't get it all.  While there are some very knowledgeable people on all sides of this debate, I seriously doubt that any of us really can begin to understand all of the implications and ramifications in the long term.  I doubt we ever will...
JB
Ken Campbell

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Reply with quote  #19 
Well said Jason. I agree with your assessment of our potential to understand the complexities.


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Bruce Kruk

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Reply with quote  #20 
There should be a`like` button here lol
Seriously have to wonder about it all when you have a hatch brat kick your ass or a `wild` unclipped fish kick your ass that may be a hatch fish that the tribal hatchery didn't clip?

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Fritz Fiedler

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Reply with quote  #21 
The only thing I might add here is not to totally give up and say that conditions will never change. The younger generation needs some hope in order to make things better. While it will be after we are all dead that that concrete plug upstream of The Red Shed comes down, it will eventually. And there are probably resident rainbows upstream that may decide to make a run for the ocean. As Bob Marley would say: "Have no fear for atomic energy, 'Cause none of them can stop the time."
Wayne Cline

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Reply with quote  #22 
You've just gotta wonder about the wisdom of a society that makes round bologna for square bread thinking they can replicate mother nature...[smile]
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Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #23 
In the overall big picture I don't think the majority of society is worried about it or even thinking about it. We that do think about it and worry about it, no matter what side of the issue we stand on are such a tiny minority that most of civilization doesn't know we exist or even care.
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Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
Todd Hirano

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Reply with quote  #24 
I'll flat out state that I am an anti-hatchery guy as to steelhead and salmon are concerned.  Years of science has shown that hatchery steelhead (and salmon) are harmful to native stocks.  In fact studies by Bill McMillan and others has showed that returns of both wild and hatchery steelhead have declined in Puget Sound rivers (and elsewhere including streams in OR) even during periods where hatchery smolt releases continually increased.

I still hang on to my pie in the sky dream that hatchery steelhead and fish blocking dams will be removed on more and more rivers that have wild stocks and these wild stocks at least be given the chance to recover.  Since I'm in fairlyland, let's throw in habitat enhancement and protection, sound timber harvest, single barbless hook/no bait regulations, very minimal/controlled harvest in rivers where harvest must occur, angler education on proper catch and release/no removal of wild fish from the water regs (like in WA), and angler self-restraint on numbers of wild steelhead caught and released (do we really need to catch/release 5, 10, 15 a day to prove ourselves?).  The main Umpqua/North Umpqua system is a good example of a winter steelhead fishery that has not had any sustained hatchery program and it's wild winter steelhead population has remained stable over time.  This is one example of a river system that has not been ruined by hatchery plantings and overharvest (not yet anyway).  The John Day is another such example.  I believe these are examples of what rivers can be with no hatchery program and the wild population allowed to thrive.

There are also other minor winter steelhead streams in OR where hatchery plantings have ceased since the late 90's and at least based on reports by local catch and release fisherman, the wild populations on these streams have responded well to the cessation of hatchery plants.

It is true there are many parties invested in the continuation of hatchery plants as noted by William, but I refuse to give up hope that more of our steelhead/salmon streams can come to be manged for wild fish.  We'll never be like the Skeena system or the Dean where hatcheries never existed and wild steelhead continue to hold up, but doesn't hurt to dream.

Thanks Poppy for the opportunity to have this discussion.

Todd


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Jason Bates

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Reply with quote  #25 
Well said Todd.  In re-reading my previous post, I realize that it probably read to sound a lot more "pro hatchery" than I had intended.  Your post puts my gut feelings about hatcheries into words.  The only thing for me is that I flat out don't know that I could foresee how the social-political fallout might come down.  

I do think that things could look very different *if* we had a major shift in the angling mentality away from fishing=eating (or just killing and throwing in the freezer for a few years before pitching it).  There is still an enormous perception out there that somehow the experience is incomplete if one releases a fish unharmed.  I'd love to see that happen, but I don't know how far away that might be.  Perhaps we all could find ways to do a little to shift that in whatever ways we can?  

(btw, I have to say that so far this has been a most civilized and respectful discussion on a fairly heated topic ... what a concept!)
JB
Steve Perakis

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Reply with quote  #26 
I am confused by the title of this thread: Anti-hatchery or Anti-angler?  Are those the only 2 choices?  

there are some great thoughts on this thread, but for my part the answer to the bigger question is way too complicated to summarize in a paragraph or two.  It might be enough to say that I reel with both hands, use all sorts of lines, and wait to smash the barb at the river (if at all) ... and those are simple issues 

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Poppy Cummins

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Reply with quote  #27 
I agree, not a very good title. Maybe we should change it.
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Dan Page

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Reply with quote  #28 
Given the polarized nature of this topic among PNW fishermen I'm guessing there will not ever be a decision made to go either one way or the other.  My hopes are for streams with potential be managed completely for natural reproduction.  I also hope the public becomes more aware of the nature of hatcheries and how periled naturally spawned fish are.  I also hope taxpayers become more aware of the subsidies hatcheries provide to a few people.  But also, the cost of wild fish will be a subsidy to the benefit of wild fish lovers.  So like everything else on the political stage these days ain't nothing gonna happen easy. [crazy]
Todd Hirano

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Reply with quote  #29 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Bates
Well said Todd.  In re-reading my previous post, I realize that it probably read to sound a lot more "pro hatchery" than I had intended.  Your post puts my gut feelings about hatcheries into words.  The only thing for me is that I flat out don't know that I could foresee how the social-political fallout might come down.  

I do think that things could look very different *if* we had a major shift in the angling mentality away from fishing=eating (or just killing and throwing in the freezer for a few years before pitching it).  There is still an enormous perception out there that somehow the experience is incomplete if one releases a fish unharmed.  I'd love to see that happen, but I don't know how far away that might be.  Perhaps we all could find ways to do a little to shift that in whatever ways we can?  

(btw, I have to say that so far this has been a most civilized and respectful discussion on a fairly heated topic ... what a concept!)
JB


Jason:
I agree the age of hatcheries has created generations of folks with a harvest mentality and the corresponding social values that go with it.  Again, I look at places that have not been ruined with hydropower and hatcheries like the Skeena system and see what could have been for the US PNW.  The Canadians in the Skeena region got it right to begin with by not allowing hydropower and hatcheries to take hold there.  Of course commerical harvest, mining, oil pipelines and logging continue to be threats up there, however when you are in the Skeena region, the mindset is different - the value of catching and releasing wild steelhead by all sport fisherman is a given, whether you are a fly fisherman or gear fisherman.  On some rivers in Oregon for instance, harvest minded fisherman get angry if all they catch are "nates" and when these "sportsmen" catch wild steelhead, they handle them horribly (gill grabbing, fish held out of water and dropped on the bank or boat, etc) out of resentment that they cannot harvest wild steelhead. 

Hatchery steelhead are a known limiting factor to recovery of wild steelhead so I keep wishing they could be eliminated on more rivers with recoverable wild runs.  And as noted, hatchery steelhead are not the only limiting factor to recovery of wild runs, so even if hatchery steelhead are removed from a given system and an immediate recovery is not noted doesn't mean removing the hatchery plants didn't matter, it just means that those other limiting factors such as habitat, also need to be addressed.

What you are talking about, the angling mentality of many in the US PNW, I think is the primary limiting factor to recovery of wild runs.  We are in the generation of "I want it now" with the sense of entitlement that goes with that.  None of us are blameless for where we are with the current state of declining wild runs and I don't know how a shift in our angling culture could happen, but I continue to remain hopeful for the future of our wild salmonids as I feel at least some small strides are being made for protection of our wild steelhead/salmon runs.

Todd

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Dave Green

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Reply with quote  #30 
Quote:
Originally Posted by William Olsen
Not one time, in more than 100 years of trying have hatchery fish lived up to the promised mitigation.[\QUOTE]

.....countered by:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gene Larson
Brown trout came to this continent by the way of hatchery technology.  Brook trout moved from the Northeast and Midwest to the far west by the way of hatchery technology.  Rainbow trout went the other way by the same means.  A properly managed habitat may need help to get established, but once there needs no further help.  Witness Michigan's Au Sable River.  It had to be helped to recover from the logging excesses that exterminated all the fish in it.  But now it maintains itself with all three trouts mentioned above (yes, I know brooks aren't really trout).  

There are streams in the Rockies where we are told to kill non-native species, I hope that means eat them, they are good.  Would I rather have hatchery fish in a tailwater than no fish, yes!  

I think it should be illegal to stock a thriving stream with any species, raised by any means. But, I think hatcheries serve a purpose for food production and restoration after man's excesses have done their dirty work.  


Not to mention GL Steelhead(and coho,and chinook).....there are many self sustaining runs of GL Steel......just say'n.

Aside from the obvious successes of moving fish from east to west and vice versa,I guess I just don't understand what the issue is with using native brood stock to enhance struggling wild populations?I fully understand and agree that "foreign" strains should never be introduced to existing wild runs,but if the eggs and milt are collected from truly wild fish in a given river,or even better,a specific natal trib,then what is the issue with stocking site specific smolts(or parr?) back into the same trib where they were collected as eggs?It would seem to me that we would simply just be giving these wild strain eggs a helping hand and exponenentially better chance of surviving to adulthood?
It would seem to me that,for all intents and purposes,these offspring would be wild fish,albeit raised in an artificial environment during the most vulnerable period of their young lives?Seriously,I'm not arguing that this is the right approach nor the end all to be all,rather I really hope somebody can enlighten me as to what is wrong with this process?
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