Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Hatchery Salmon are now wild?
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Old 04-29-2004, 07:56 PM
kjackson kjackson is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Port Townsend
Posts: 142
It's time for a reality check...

Well said, flytyer. All of the hoopla about how this ruling is Bush's fault that I've seen on various boards is bunk. Those folks must have been sleeping in civics class (or whatever it's called now) or out fishing. The judicial branch of the government has ruled, and we have to live with it. The "we" includes both the administration and the public.

What we can do is hold politicians' collective feet to the fire to make sure that hatcheries are really turning out fish that are equal or nearly so with wild fish (and I'm not talking about the cement race-track zombies here) AND make sure that habitat restoration doesn't get sidetracked. Hatchery reform is a must if we have to live with the Hogan ruling.

All the hair-pulling I've read makes me wish those individuals could direct that energy to doing something useful.

One thing I do believe firmly is that the salmon and steelhead species are resilient natural animals that can recover. All you have to do is look at the return of steelhead and salmon to the Toutle system after St. Helens blew. It took a couple of years to see, but the runs did come back without much help from us. Wild fish will return to our rivers eventually if we leave them alone. Sure, we've lost genetic material of wild fish, and the same thing is happening in wild, pristine systems without man's interference. It's called selection, for those who skipped biology to go fishing.

As far as Bush goes, the man has made some good points from a conservation/fishing standpoint. He's also made some bad decisions as well. This isn't one of them-- he had nothing to do with the Hogan ruling. I applaud the idea that his administration is moving on-- there is little the executive branch can do to change a ruling of the judicial branch. If we can keep NOAA and the states improving hatcheries and the stock that they plant, then we may actually be ahead of the game.

My $.03

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