Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Smoking Gun on Hatchery Steelhead

I was prepared to write today about Norman Maclean and "A River Runs Through It" and indeed will at a future date but this story is too important.While it does state the obvious, as scientists and fish biologists agree about hatchery fish, it also punches some holes in the over all fitness of wild steelhead broodstock programs.
The linked article comes from the "Daily Barometer", a newspaper published by Oregon State University.
Here is the link to the article by Katy Weaver

Hatchery Steelhead Do Not Measure Up!!!

Of course those proponents of hatcheries and steelhead broodstock programs are already trying to put their uneducated spin on all of this with statements like this from professional fishing guide Jack Smith of Tillamook, Oregon
This is why true wild brood stock programs use only wild fish as parents for each hatchery generation. The resulting generation of hatchery fish are offspring of wild fish. Far from being ground breaking news this paper only states the obvious which is that the way we ran hatcheries for all these years was wrong and if supplementation hatcheries are to exist they need to move toward one generation from wild brood stock programs.

Apparently Mr.Smith did not read the whole article by Ms.Weaver. Especially where Blouin makes this statement

As every generation goes through the hatchery, there is a substantial decline in fitness

Get that? Every generation including the first! While they may be only one generation removed from wild parents they are STILL raised in a hatchery environment.
Let's call it like it is, shall we?


  1. Anonymous1:02 AM

    A timely post, Shane.
    There is a growing wave of concern on trout stocking practices, particularly from fish geneticists. I wrote a letter about my concerns over brown trout stocking to the English Environment Agency, having researched what the geneticists like Andy Ferguson are finding. If interested see