RE:Status of Native Summer Runs in the Region?
My "take" on this is that good ol' American Pride is part of what's stopping the DFW from taking this common-sense approach to hatchery management. After all, BC has been doing this for years (yeah, Tyler . . I hear you snickering)and there's practically no anti-hatchery sentiment there. Also, the hatchery fish take a fly better and are considered almost as sporting as the wild fish.
The WA guides know this - Bob Ball and the other Peninsula guides started the Snyder Creek project on the Sol Duc - taking native fish and using their spawn to further supplement the winter returns. They mark them in a way unique from that of the State plants, and early guesstimates have shown that either (1) there are a much higher percentage of the Snyder Creek fry plants surviving to return to the river or (2) that the returning adults are much more Aggressive than the State's hatchery plants. Or it could be a measure of both.
One of the things I like about their approach is that they select for Aggressive Fish - after all, every one that is used has been caught by a guide or angler participating in this project. Hatchery fish are the exact opposite - the ones that aren't aggressive (assuming near 100% mortality on hatchery fish caught by anglers) are selected.