Wild fish in hatcheries
Nate's post on Bob's WSC board directed me to the following article:
It talks about a myriad of interesting findings or theories on the interaction of hatchery fish and native fish, transporting, recycling, use of brood, etc. (Thanks Nate)
Although it provides spirited efforts and hard evidence - it makes my mind wander off to think of how totally screwed up we have made things with hatcheries so that such efforts are needed. Then the reality of human demands and sport fishing quotas, netting, etc. pushes it's way back into my idealistic world and I realize that in some rivers, we will probably need to keep the hatchery approach going to meet such needs.
Still, steelhead are a privilege, not a right. Boldt makes it seem like we, one being on this whole earth, can apportion such rights between races and cultures. What never came out in that dilemma is that regardless who fishes for them it's about preserving the state of the runs, not harvest quotas - that matters.
So my personal feelings on the matter are that if our desire to sustain a higher than normal yeild using hatcheries in any way impacts the native fishery, we have exceeded our rights. Using native brood in hatcheries is only improving the fish being raised in unnatural conditions, which I admit is a small step for mankind, but what I would rather see is a greater percentage of river systems moving over to wild and natural management policies.
As part of the legacy of this great country we have taken huge portions of land and declared them sanctuaries to preserve the essence of their beauty for eternity - the national park system.
What we need is a "national rivers" system that reaches deep into the depths of indigenous salmonid preservation. Catch and release, wild fish forever.
<font size="1">BTW - Tried "post reply" on Bob's WSC board but it would not respond(?)</font><!--1-->
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