“Steelhead turned out by hatcheries quickly evolve into a kind of swimming livestock with a poor chance of surviving in the wild and may carry their inferior traits into wild populations that biologists are trying to save, a new study of fish in Oregon’s Hood River has found.”

Read the rest of the story: Hatchery fish found to be poor at survival. A study indicates steelhead are so bad at surviving that they are little help to wild runs. By Michael Milstein. The Oregonian.

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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

One Response to Anandromous fish from hatcheries have poor survival rates.

  1. avatar Buffaloed says:

    This is hardly a surprise. Even with this research nothing will really change for Idaho unless there is a drastic change of values which I find unlikely. It has long been known that hatchery fish are vastly inferior to wild fish and, with steelhead in the upper Salmon, vastly outnumber the wild fish. I assume that it would be very difficult to find a place where wild fish would not breed with hatchery fish because the numbers are so skewed towards hatchery fish that swim up every tributary where wild fish would spawn. I think that the idea that there are any truly wild steelhead, meaning no hatchery influence at any point, in the upper Salmon drainage to be rather far fetched.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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