Posts Tagged ‘Hatchery Fish


Vintage Sign & History of Oregon Game Management

Photography-State Game Refuge-Oregon-old sign-SwittersB

Origins of Oregon State Game Management

“1892 – Sturgeon fishery peaks with about 35,000 fish landed.

1893 – First combined fish and game administration in the state’s history when the Legislature appointed Hollister McGuire as the State Game and Fish Protector. McGuire initiated the first fish marking program in 1895 by clipping the adipose fin on 5,000 Clackamas Hatchery salmon (32 returned). He also enforced several new game laws, including a limit of 20 game birds which could be sold during the season.

1898 – McGuire released the first ever fin-clipped salmon in Oregon. McGuire drowned on the Umpqua River while in search of a hatchery site this same year.   In his report to the Governor, he cites concerns about the lack of protection for salmon, particularly on the upper Columbia and Snake, and recommended several actions to be taken by the Legislature.”



Catch & Release: How To………….

Saw this nice how to release trout graphic on FB. It was put out there by the Central Oregon Fly Fishers. Almost a given with many fly fishers, catch & release is a noble tool to sustain the fishery, share the resource and pay reverence to nature’s treasures. Without pontificating here, it is always good to remind one’s self of the basics and this is a nice graphic to do that.

COFF Release ChartCatch & Release is a constant for me. Mostly because I just don’t eat that much fish anymore nor enjoy the hassle of catch and clean. When Fly Fishers have outings they sometimes keep hatchery fish for a fish fry. Their rationale is the fish caught and killed are hatchery fish and not worthy of release because they compete with the ‘wild’ strains of trout in the watershed.

Something about that does not set well anymore…with me. The science justifies the kill. The current, righteous high ground justifies the kill.

I will just slip them all back into the water until the hatchery fish go away by planning not killing…at least in those wild trout watersheds.

released trout


Wild Fish v. Hatchery Fish: When Is Enough Data Captured to Convince

“Since the mid-1970s, large increases in hatchery programs in the U.S., Canada, Russia and Japan have released billions of fish into the water. And the increasing global demand for salmon has resulted in calls to further expand hatchery production, especially in Russia and Alaska. In a 2010 open letter to Alaska hatcheries, seafood processors proposed increasing pink salmon hatchery returns by 25%-115% over the next five years. Similarly, Russian hatchery managers stated in 2010 that Russia is planning to build 23 new hatcheries that would increase the country’s hatchery production by 66% or 680 million fish.

“The scale and magnitude of our current hatchery production system is enormous,” says Rand. “Five billion juvenile salmon are released each year worldwide, and the prospect of additional increases in hatchery production is worrisome for the long-term survival of wild salmon.” (more at Science Blog)



This a very complex issue for this C Average Student. Dams, Irrigation, Logging, Hatcheries, Commercial Fishing, Pollution, oh and Sea Lions, on and on contributing factors go. And, the propensity is to substitute one man made management style over the top of the previous one. We mucked it up and the mean time, the Put ‘n Take Crowd wants their damn fish! I am glad others are taking on this puzzle and that they put it in terms I can understand…Cliff Notes so to speak.

All the good intentions aside, it does come down to prior investments, jobs, business versus a probable crisis in maintaining/restoring the original wild strains. As much as everyone readily paints business interests as inherently bad and the problem, I at first will always point to government management or mismanagement as a greater culprit in messing things up…then poor stewardship by businesses…and the oblivious ‘I want mine’ by the ‘put in take’ crowd helps perpetuate the whole mess. 

While it feels good to quote some Native American slogan about preserving some resource, I wonder how Oregon and Washington…two states that have had overwhelming Democrat power bases for decades….two very liberal/progressive states…two very eco conscious states have made such a mess of the fisheries. All those Democrat Governors have been silent and void of leadership on these issues. Of course, I’m only a C Student…so what do I know?


NW Salmon (The Good Intentions of Hatchery Fish)

Salmon Running the Gauntlet (PBS @ Fly Fisherman Anonymous)

This is a pretty informative piece by PBS re the history of NW Salmon and the origins of the hatchery concept. The piece is a portion of a longer show, which you can access via the above link. There are additional spin off pieces about the Columbia River dams.

“Most discussions about the causes of declining salmon runs focus on the four H’s: habitat, hatcheries, harvest and hydropower. But the most important factor may be an ‘I’, as in invasive species.”     (Report here)


Stocking the ‘put and take’ trout in remote lakes

I am not even sure anymore of all the methods used to put hatchery trout into lakes. I do see the occasional tanker truck back up to a boat ramp and shoot out hundreds of assorted sized fish. I recall seeing a plane bomb a lake in the Wallowa’s Eagle Cap Wilderness almost 40 years ago with brook trout. And, I know a man that use to pull a string of pack mules into Cascade lakes in the 50’s with tin containers of small trout. These methods for putting in hatchery trout are still used in parts of the country. But, given the economic times and fuel costs (helicopters/planes/tankers), I know there is an old fashioned way being used these days.

A friend and supporter of SwittersB is participating in a ‘backpack the fish in’ exercise in Oregon this weekend. An old, large compartment framed pack is called for. From there an ODFW worker inserts a durable plastic container and the fish and enough water are introduced to the pack’s compartment to sustain the fish. A 6 mile hike into a nearby lake is the target. Stout legs going in and a light load coming out. What could be better. Check your local fishery programs for similar outings where the put ‘n take trout are stocked and not adversely effecting native species through escapement. 

Here is an except from the Eugene Register Guard in July, 2010 about the program: “About 150 other volunteers did the same, keeping up a nearly 30-year tradition of volunteers — usually the anglers themselves — stocking the high lakes they love, or at least the lakes they’ve always wanted see.

It began at 9 a.m. on July 17 at Oakridge’s fish hatchery, which sits just off Salmon Creek, near the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. First Roberts and Gore met Erik Moberly, the ODFW employee in his fourth year as head organizer for the volunteer stocking event, which runs every other year, with lakes being stocked by helicopter in the off years.”


Biotech Salmon? Science, Progress, Engineering

“For the last 15 years, AquaBounty, the Massachusetts-based company that is seeking FDA approval to create and sell biotech salmon, has been working on creating a fast-growing salmon by combining the genes of a Chinook salmon and an ocean pout—an eel-like fish. In September, an FDA staff analysis concluded that the genetically-modified salmon is safe to eat and poses little harm to the environment.” (more here)

The Losers (Edward Kay)

“The FDA is poised to put the first genetically engineered salmon on our dinner plates despite the fact that 91 percent of Americans feel that genetically engineered fish and meat should not be allowed into the marketplace. That so many Americans oppose what will likely be a milestone decision about the future of seafood should be sounding alarm bells at the FDA.” (more genetic insult)

So the Obama Administration seems no more brilliant than the W Administration re our fisheries. The preoccupation with the Science Diety will lead to ever more bio designs that do not hold sacred anything natural, native or wild.

“Andrew Pollack writes in the NYTimes that Genetically Altered Salmon Get Closer to the Table about AquaBounty‘s GM super-fish which…

“…contains a growth hormone gene from a Chinook salmon as well as a genetic on-switch from the ocean pout, a distant relative of the salmon. Normally, salmon do not make growth hormone in cold weather. But the pout’s on-switch keeps production of the hormone going year round. The result is salmon that can grow to market size in 16 to 18 months instead of three years.”

It still needs FDA approval, but as you can imagine, luddites and religious wingnuts of all flavors are already protesting noisily.”   Maximizing Progress

Notice how easily the Science is God crowd throw the names about re those calling into question the soundness of such decisions? “luddites and religious wingnuts”? Seems to be the response anymore to those that question. Name call, marginalize, demean and move on to engineering some facet of our life toward ‘progress’. Don’t question science and progress.


Hatchery Programs (“ideologically driven technology is not allowed to fail”)


Bonneville Fish Hatchery~Columbia R. (Oregon)

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