Cloning Salmon [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Cloning Salmon

01-01-2003, 02:15 AM
Do you think scientist should clone game fish, such as trout; salmon; pike, bass and the likes?

Take DNA samples from the strongest fighting fish and make thousands of them...
(I know, it almost sounds like a state fish hatchery... But, why not use this technology to aid the sportsmen and women)

Think about it though... You could have vast rivers of healthy, strong fish in countless numbers, like it was in the golden era of fly fishing.

Strapping game fish at your demand in waters that are depleated by poorly managed game regulations or natural selection...

Bringing fished-out rivers and lakes back to life will also generate $$$ for local areas that depend on fishing as a way of life.

It's just a thought...
Who am I to cause wakes...

01-01-2003, 08:29 AM
Why not let something far superior than anything we could genetically manufacture do the job? Someone who has millions of years of experience? Someone who has proven she can do the job? We are mere infants in the science of genetics. We should go with someone who is THE expert.

Mother Nature

01-01-2003, 10:37 AM
I generally steer clear of this one, but at the risk of being caught in the crossfire - here's a (typically British) middle of the road point of view:

On the one hand, there is no denying the superiority of the evolutionary process in producing the very best - given sufficient time.

The problem is that, in general, mankind is 'a bit' impatient. We want it and we want it now. We're not prepared to wait a few years, or how about a few generations, for the natural healing process to take effect. The need for instant gratification is the economic driver behind many an enterprise so its only natural (no pun intended) that genetic engineering would find its way into recreational fishing. From a personal point of view, do I really want to go out and catch genetically identical fish? No variation in conformation, coloration, behavioral characteristics? Think about it ...

Also, don't forget that nature doesn't stand still even if we do. Lets say we come up with a disease resistant strain. Its just a matter of time before evolution at the microbiological level comes up with a new 'super bug' and our entire generation of genetically identical super-fish gets wiped out over night. With no natural pool of genetic variability to fall back on we're screwed! Remember that clones are genetically equivalent in all respects - not just physical appearance! Like the story of the monkeys paw, be very careful what you wish for.

I fully support genetic research. We are already learning some incredible things as a result of the human genome project and there is tremendous potential for making life better. But its a bit like taking the first steps into an unknown and potentially hostile world where the rewards can be limitless but there are no maps and disaster is only a couple of steps in the wrong direction. After all, natural selection is selective.

Dble Haul
01-01-2003, 11:21 AM
To follow up on Adrian's great post, I'll put something into perspective. Evolution occurs from generation to generation, and in the case of many microbial and viral antigens the generation span is only a matter of several hours. So if the generation span of a fish is said to be at one year, then potentially harmful antigens may have had a few thousand generations in that same time frame. This leads to ridiculously more opportunities for them to evolve.....most (if any) changes will be moot or harmful, but a rare few will be selected for because of certain benefits. The ability to infect alleged "disease-resistant" fish is not far fetched, and could happen much more quickly than most people realize.

I have to agree that genetic cloning of fish is a bad idea. The absence of hybrid vigor in farmed salmon is one of the greatest arguements against this practice in ocean pens....if any escape and pass on their less than robust gene pool and greater than average susceptibility to disease, it could mean more trouble for the wild populations. And these pen fish aren't even identical....they're just more similar to each other than the wilds because of their physical isolation.

01-01-2003, 11:28 AM
In fact if pen-reared salmon were not treated with substantial levels of antibiotics and pesticides, they would not even survive to harvest age. What we tend to do with fish genetics moves in a direction that is not aligned with well... fish!

I guess my point is if we have to diddle with fish genes in order to enjoy them more as an object of sport, then what exactly is it that we're trying to enjoy?

It wouldn't be fish. ;)

01-01-2003, 01:13 PM
Boy, did I open a can of worms or what....

01-01-2003, 02:25 PM
We will see if fish farm Atlantic salmon can survive in the wild, as we have all heard the reports of spawning escapees in BC!
As for cloning, I beleive that "the Golden Age" had more to do with habitat and the availability of food. Give fish habitat and food, and cloned natural or stocked, the fish will thrive.

01-01-2003, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by cohocola
Boy, did I open a can of worms or what....

Man, no can of worms at all! You started a very good read!!

01-01-2003, 06:00 PM
I can see it now. The various fish and game departments investing in these super Frankenfish so that all sportsfishers can catch as many 30 lb steelhead or 50 lb Atlantic Salmon as they wish. Hell they could even be engineered so that they would have a preference for taking a waked dry fly over all other lures! Fly fishing Nirvana here at last!

Then the fish and game departments could have this great PR campaign telling the public that they have found the anwer to dwindling fish stocks. Hell, we could have all the fish a person could ever wish for, and all of trophy size to boot. Then the fish and game departments could also certify that these various Frankenfish are safe for the commercial farming of the same fish in the estuary of the rivers they have been engineered for. What a deal, all the fish the commercial interests ever deisred, food for the masses, and great sportfishing opportunity as well. And our grandfoathers thought they had the good old days.

01-01-2003, 07:48 PM
I would like a 30lb steelhead imprinted and cloned to take the third presentation of my waked muddler in the Deer Lick run tail out . :D :devil:

The third presentation since I want to ensure I have the proper amount of line off the reel and in my hand properly measured for the hook setting. Also I would like some sense of anticipation and challenge. :chuckle:

Seriously fish cloning is a bad idea as is human cloning.

PM Out

01-01-2003, 08:18 PM
out of the Elk River here in So. Oregon (Pic's to prove it .. snigger snigger).

All that silliness aside, cool new avitar.

Hope? cohocola has calmed down. Think his/her shorts are a bit too tight.:smokin:

01-01-2003, 08:22 PM
OK, I believe you, but was it on a fly or the pink worm.:devil:

PM Out

P.S. I Knew you would like the new avatar.:D

01-01-2003, 08:26 PM
Hal, don't you mean the pink bunny fly? Afterall, one has to keep up appearances doesn't he?

01-01-2003, 08:38 PM
Just a gentle nudge of my memory and the word "Hell", and fish that all are great, but very similar, reminds me of a very good short story written by a brother angler re. an extremely good beat on a river where every cast was rewarded with a trout of 1.5 Kg or there abouts. Only problem was that is all there was and that is all there ever was gonna be.
The angler was in "Hell" and who remembers the author? I kinda think it was in Nick Lyons "Arm Chair Anglers Anthology"
. But hey I'm short of hair, and hearing, and memory,so maybe one of you other gentlemen can remember.

01-01-2003, 09:44 PM
It would be nice to have cloning of fish, there isn't a hole lot of fish left.

01-02-2003, 10:33 AM
I don't think the fish would live even if we did something like that. First the habitat would have to be completely restored back to the "golden age" for it to work. If you dumped thousands of heathly fish into the water without food, they won't last long.

01-02-2003, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by pmflyfisher
OK, I believe you, but was it on a fly or the pink worm.:devil:

PM Out

P.S. I Knew you would like the new avatar.:D

Have done several LARGE fish on the 18' B and W with our spring run kings, and even up to 25'ish pounds in the fall ("incidental catch" while summer run fishing on a sage 7136-4. Rod flat to the water most of the battle) kings. But as for Mr. Steelhead I'm topped out at about 12-13 pounds on a fly rod.

But I like the 'pink worm' idea; who knows????