Nestucca Brood Stock Alert
The following alert is from the Native Fish Society. Please take action.
***NESTUCCA BROODSTOCK ALERT***
The ODFW Tillamook District is currently accepting public comment regarding changes to the Nestucca River Winter Steelhead Broodstock Program. The public comment period will remain open through November 30, 2007. Proposed changes are as follows.
Current: 55,000 Alsea Stock
55,000 Nestucca Stock
All Released in Bays Creek
Proposed: 40,000 Alsea Stock
- 30,000 released in Three Rivers
- 10,000 released at Farmer Creek
70,000 Nestucca Stock
- 15,000 released in Three Rivers
- 15,000 released at Farmer Creek
- 20,000 released at First Bridge
- 20,000 released in Bays Creek
Objectives: Reduce hatchery stray rates, increase catch, re-establish Three Rivers fishery,
maintain Alsea broodstock
The program appears to have had significant impacts to both wild steelhead and coastal coho since its inception and the proposed increase in the broodstock component will likely exacerbate these negative consequences accordingly. The Departments proposal also ignores their own research pertaining to hatchery impacts upon wild steelhead (Lindsay, et al. ODFW 2001) as well as recent findings from the ongoing Hood River steelhead study [Hitoshi Araki, et al. Science 318, 100 (2007)] and the Kalama Research Station (Hulett, et al. American Fisheries Society Symposium 44:253–262, 2004). Specific concerns are outlined in a recent presentation to the ODFW Commission (see below).
We are proposing an alternative that would ameliorate the impacts to wild fish and restore a quality catch and release fishery in the vicinity of the current release site while providing for a take opportunity in the lower river. Most importantly, this strategy would provide for an honest evaluation of the broodstock program relative to the Alsea stock in accord with directives from the ODFW Commission (2001).
Our proposal supports the Department’s intent to restore the take fishery in Three Rivers but asks for all other releases to be confined to a new release/recapture facility on Farmer Creek (located on Hwy 101 between Beaver and Hebo). It is also important that the release ratio be maintained at a 50/50 split so as to provide a meaningful evaluation between the two stocks. The overall release proportion at both sites should be determined in consultation with research staff (ie. 40% Three Rivers and 60% Farmer Creek, for example) although it is critical to maintain the proportion of the two stocks at 50/50 for each location.
The outcome of this broodstock re-evaluation process will likely hinge on the expression of strong public support for wild fish and fisheries associated therewith. Our wild steelhead are counting on you!
Please take a moment to express support for the NFS proposal to:
Keith Braun, District Fishery Biologist
North Coast Watershed District
4907 Third Street
Tillamook, OR 97141
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