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Old 12-05-2014, 03:03 PM   #1
Silentwalker
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Default A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

When I say few I mean few. Do you want 3-6 thousand wild fish in these rivers or do you want 50-60 thousand hatchery fish? The wild fish revival is a lost cause. Numbers will never come close to comparing to what they once were. Life is short, so we might as well live a life with realistic expectations. I say the more hatcheries the better.

Let's chalk these steams full of fish. Let's have fish less days that you can count on one hand. Let's not forget, The life cycle of hatchery fish bring many benefits to the ecosystem


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Old 12-05-2014, 03:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Oh, what a dream!
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Haha yall are funny. Maybe we should just close angling to all rivers so are wittle wild fishies can swim around. that would be fun
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:21 PM   #4
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Silentwalker View Post
When I say few I mean few. Do you want 3-6 thousand wild fish in these rivers or do you want 50-60 thousand hatchery fish? The wild fish revival is a lost cause. Numbers will never come close to comparing to what they once were. Life is short, so we might as well live a life with realistic expectations. I say the more hatcheries the better.

Let's chalk these steams full of fish. Let's have fish less days that you can count on one hand. Let's not forget, The life cycle of hatchery fish bring many benefits to the ecosystem
How do you explain all the wild Coho this year if it is all just a waste of time???
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Haha yall are funny. Maybe we should just close angling to all rivers so are wittle wild fishies can swim around. that would be fun
Are you going to fund the hatcheries needed to chalk the rivers full? If so I am fully behind you.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

You got a descent point. But, whatever numbers of coho your referring to do not compare to what they were. Its hard to comprehend what fish numbers used to be because we were not alive then. We only hear of stories and read about them.
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Old 12-05-2014, 03:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Capitalism is the main reason why wild fish populations will likely never recover. Industries and their environmental damage effects watersheds greatly. Deforestation is an absolute killer, which will only get worse. Commercial fishing operations with massive nets wipeout massive populations. All of these things are fueled and kept alive from the elite rich who want endless supply of cash and power. Having wild fish compete with hatchery fish is not the problem. In my opinion
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:04 PM   #8
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

there were 4 thousand seals and sealions in the river last year and and exploding population of cormorants....need to improve habitat and limit the number of predators. Improving the smolt survival rate by only a couple of percent would be huge. Some areas have less than 1% survival rate.
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Sweet, we havnt had one of these for awhile.


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Old 12-05-2014, 04:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Silentwalker View Post
When I say few I mean few. Do you want 3-6 thousand wild fish in these rivers or do you want 50-60 thousand hatchery fish? The wild fish revival is a lost cause. Numbers will never come close to comparing to what they once were. Life is short, so we might as well live a life with realistic expectations. I say the more hatcheries the better.

Let's chalk these steams full of fish. Let's have fish less days that you can count on one hand. Let's not forget, The life cycle of hatchery fish bring many benefits to the ecosystem


we did that in the 70's and 80s it didn't work out that well... On top of that in most places we are still doing that... We are doing everything already that you are asking for!!! the Grand Ronde has a massive hatchery plant of over 800,000 summer steelhead and that's just one example what more do you want? Having every river full of harvestable adults has so very little to do with how many smolts you plant..
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Old 12-05-2014, 04:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

So if smolt release doesn't matter how do they come back clipped ? No smolts out means more hatchery fish back ?
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

We just had a record return. Freezer is full. Pantry can't hold any more jars. If you can't catch fish in the current pattern were in just quit fishing. My whole life I heard about the good old days, well the last few years have been the best fishing I've ever seen. 100,000 hatchery coho just returned on my local river. Habitat enhancement project are everywhere you look. My glass is half full! I guess I better go fill it back up. Flame on.
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Old 12-05-2014, 06:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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So if smolt release doesn't matter how do they come back clipped ? No smolts out means more hatchery fish back ?
I did not say that smolt releases do not matter. I said in most places we are still planting lots of fish and in the places we are planting fewer fish fishing is just as good as when plants were higher. Just saying that planting lots of fish does not mean you'll get a lot of fish back as proved by the 1980's and the fact that we can get lots of fish back from smaller plants has been very much proven the last few years though it does vary from year to year.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

A few thousand wild fish.
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Millions of Wild Fish!
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Soooo what happens when we flood the rivers with smolts, great. Now these smolts are all going to go party in the big blue...growing up eating stuff and what not. Well now that there is millions (more) fish in the ocean what happens when the forage begins to be depleted? Then were going to tank. And lets say because of lack of ocean forage shore birds start migrating inshore to feed on the smolts, then we have just shot ourselves in the foot. I'm not saying this would happen I am just saying I think it's a bit more complicated than flooding the rivers with fish and getting massive returns back. If the fishing continued to be as good as it was this and last year I would be perfectly fine with that.
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Old 12-05-2014, 10:16 PM   #17
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Rob is right, in many rivers there are huge smolt numbers being released still. Some of those rivers get decent brat returns, some get almost nothing. But cheer up!

There were something like 200,000 more URB in the Columbia (after lower river harvests) than the escapement goal. Coho returns in the upper columbia were the highest ever recorded (since records were kept anyway...certainly not the highest ever). And Sockeye? 500,000? Damn!

Maybe I am missing something, but aside from a mild lack of keeper Steelhead in my neck of the woods (which is fine by be), everything else has been blowing up the last few years.

I actually thought things were looking up...
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:06 AM   #18
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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We just had a record return. Freezer is full. Pantry can't hold any more jars. If you can't catch fish in the current pattern were in just quit fishing. My whole life I heard about the good old days, well the last few years have been the best fishing I've ever seen. 100,000 hatchery coho just returned on my local river. Habitat enhancement project are everywhere you look. My glass is half full! I guess I better go fill it back up. Flame on.

MAYBE a record return as long as they been actually keeping records. Think of the populations before anyone kept records.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:04 AM   #19
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

I'd rather have a million wilds and people bonking them than a million hatchery fish.It doesn't matter how many smolts you stock theres a carrying capacity for everything and last i checked survival rates aren't very good.

fix the habitat on streams that have that possibility and let a crap ton of wild fish return to a point where they can sustain harvest,and rivers beyond the point of no return stock the crap out of them.

this would mean a few things. Less hatcheries, fisheries that can hold up on their own,large and quality fish for everyone! but it would take a lot of money for such a large scale project ,it's one of those things that would be good for a long term plan, not a short term fix to a huge problem which is what you are proposing o.p .

with the way the economy has been and budget crap that odfw has to deal with, i'm pretty sure a long term plan where they would have to spend a lot less money once enhancement is done and fish do everything on their own is very ideal. we don't have endless money and resources,and we can't stock a **** ton of hatchery fish in every river and expect everything to be okay anymore.


we need both hatchery and wild fish. not one or the other.



i volunteer a lot with habitat enhancement projects for salmoni have seen what a change in habitat can do for a struggling run of fish and let me tell you,it is very eye opening.we need more habitat enhancement,not more hatchery fish.
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Old 12-06-2014, 11:44 AM   #20
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

The Columbia aside ('cause I don't fish there), I would rather have "hatchery" rivers stuffed with a zillion clipped smolts and "wild" rivers left with zero clipped smolts and limited to no bait and single barbless hook restrictions.

And no, I don't have a list of which rivers should be which.
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Old 12-06-2014, 12:24 PM   #21
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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MAYBE a record return as long as they been actually keeping records. Think of the populations before anyone kept records.
how many were there before records were kept?

I get your point, but I think we are riding a pretty healthy balance right now. those inbred mutt winter steelhead of yesteryear were pretty worthless, they didn't bite great, didn't fight well, chrome hens would spill their eggs...etc.

broodstock fish are far superior but there is a cap to how many can be produced money aside. how many wild fish can we spawn for hatchery production without having a big impact on that rivers wild fish? again, I think we are riding a realistic line
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Old 12-06-2014, 12:31 PM   #22
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

I vote for more hatchery fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is no such thing as a wild fish anymore
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Old 12-06-2014, 12:36 PM   #23
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I vote for more hatchery fish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is no such thing as a wild fish anymore
the problem with that it is factually incorrect and very easily proven incorrect... and again planting more hatchery fish doesn't equate to more hatchery adults for you to catch...
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Old 12-06-2014, 12:37 PM   #24
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how many were there before records were kept?

I get your point, but I think we are riding a pretty healthy balance right now. those inbred mutt winter steelhead of yesteryear were pretty worthless, they didn't bite great, didn't fight well, chrome hens would spill their eggs...etc.

broodstock fish are far superior but there is a cap to how many can be produced money aside. how many wild fish can we spawn for hatchery production without having a big impact on that rivers wild fish? again, I think we are riding a realistic line



excellent post
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Old 12-06-2014, 12:48 PM   #25
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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I did not say that smolt releases do not matter. I said in most places we are still planting lots of fish and in the places we are planting fewer fish fishing is just as good as when plants were higher. Just saying that planting lots of fish does not mean you'll get a lot of fish back as proved by the 1980's and the fact that we can get lots of fish back from smaller plants has been very much proven the last few years though it does vary from year to year.
Fishing is just as good with fewer plants? How`s that? If you got twice as many fish coming back, isn`t fishing going to be twice as good? I sure have not seen an improvement in the Steelhead runs in the last few years. Back in the 80`s there was fish everywhere. It stands to reason the more fish you plant the more your going to get back. Your only going to get a certain percentage of those fish back. It doesn`t matter if you plant 1000 or 100,000. If 1% equals 10 fish or 1000 fish.
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:05 PM   #26
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Shut down ALL of the hatcheries. Then we will all see the true state of our fisheries. From that will come the motivation to restore access and spawning habitat and the runs will come back. Then we will have millions of native fish to catch and enjoy.
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:38 PM   #27
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Fishing is just as good with fewer plants? How`s that? If you got twice as many fish coming back, isn`t fishing going to be twice as good? I sure have not seen an improvement in the Steelhead runs in the last few years. Back in the 80`s there was fish everywhere. It stands to reason the more fish you plant the more your going to get back. Your only going to get a certain percentage of those fish back. It doesn`t matter if you plant 1000 or 100,000. If 1% equals 10 fish or 1000 fish.


Remember the late 80s and 90s. We have better fishing now and fewer plants. The grande ronde went from 1.25 million summer steelhead smolts to 825,000 and then had a record run.. The number of fish you plant is proven by history over and over not to correspond how many adults return.
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Old 12-06-2014, 04:45 PM   #28
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Careful what you guys wish for the Ventura River in Socal was so full of salmon and steelhead they had a cannery there, today there's a handful of fish and its illegal to fish for them! I used to fish Malibu Creek in the 70s very few steelhead due to the dam above it and the movie stars building every available lot in the hills. Hatchery fish are a blessing as the habitat due to human building in the fish habitat has destroyed the great rivers of the west. Unless you are willing and can afford to kick people off their streamside land and put it back the way it was forget about it!Hatcheries work without them we have fishless rivers!
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:23 AM   #29
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Remember the late 80s and 90s. We have better fishing now and fewer plants. The grande ronde went from 1.25 million summer steelhead smolts to 825,000 and then had a record run.. The number of fish you plant is proven by history over and over not to correspond how many adults return.
I would love to see some links to some of this mystery information you found. I'm expecting you show us some good evidence in regards to the correspondence. I guess maybe we should plant very few fish and hope for massive returns of adult fish!
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:57 AM   #30
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I would love to see some links to some of this mystery information you found. I'm expecting you show us some good evidence in regards to the correspondence. I guess maybe we should plant very few fish and hope for massive returns of adult fish!
I just gave you a specific example right from your neck of the woods. Grande Ronde went from a plant of 1,225,000 down to 825,000. Immediately it had the largest return for decades. Interestingly enough fishing wasn't very good that year.

Right now in many SW WA streams plants are as low as they ever have been,for steelhead anyway, I don't know about salmon. Well the last several years steelheading has been very good. Wild runs are for the most part improving.

If you'd like my statements refuted by all means do your own research and post it yourself.

Things are pretty good right now. Don't mess with it too much.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:08 AM   #31
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Of course there are native fish! I don't know any by name, so I can't prove it right now. Another big point that is being missed that leads me to root for support of wild fish is that they are part if our ecosystem. They should be able to exist for reasons other than fishing! I'm a northwest native and salmon are very high on my list of northwest pride. Many that don't fish appreciate salmon as much as we fisherman do. Doesn't the sight of a spawning salmon in a local river just make you feel alive? I'd rather spend more money on habitat restoration than more hatcheries.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:22 AM   #32
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elitism never wins dude. hatchery fish elitist and wild fish elitist,neither do any good,trust me on that, i was a wild fish only guy for a while. We need both to keep everything balanced and managed correctly.
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:02 AM   #33
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elitism never wins dude. hatchery fish elitist and wild fish elitist,neither do any good,trust me on that, i was a wild fish only guy for a while. We need both to keep everything balanced and managed correctly.
Yup, unfortunately we have a lot of extremists, who either want all hatchery or all wild. We are not at a point where all hope for wild fish is gone, but we need fish at the same time and wilds will not meet that demand. Balance is key with everything, I believe with the new innovations like salmon cannons, dam removals, habitat restoration and everything else were doing for them were not far from our goals of sustainable wild fish runs. Personally I would never like to see hatchery fish removed though, whether they're there for the commercial fisherman or just as an added bonus as long as the rivers can handle both wild and hatchery I would rather see hatchery fish bonked than wild, even with a surplus of wild.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:11 PM   #34
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

I don't think we "need" hatchery fish. Why do you think we need them? Try to separate the wants from the needs.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:40 PM   #35
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Without hatchery fish there would likely be no commercial fishing or sport fishing (or very little), so imagine all the economics behind that and the money that ranges from bait and tackle, fuel, boats, hotels, local markets and restraunts, out of the country not the mention the money ODFW makes off of fishing licenses. We don't "need" hatchery fish like we don't "need" oxygen, we don't need it but it's good for us.
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Old 12-07-2014, 02:28 PM   #36
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

I've gone fishing and caught hatchery fish, I've gone fishing and not caught wild fish. I found catching hatchery fish more enjoyable than not catching anything, wild or not.

List me as a strong supporter of hatchery stocking.
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:08 PM   #37
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Growing up and fishing the Willamette for springers we saw few caught and for years there just wasn't much going on. 5 million spring Chinook smolts are released annually into the Willamette yet the return rate has been exceptionally low. ODFW is trying to rememdy this and there are ideas on the table that might help to get the return rate up to the 100,000 fish objective. The Columbia was closed for springers and summer Chinook through most of the 70's, 80's and 90's and even when it was open in the 70's the returns were so low that very little catching went on. Today, 50 million smolts are released into the Columbia and seasons are open and will continue to grow as the management reforms expand seasons. Summer chinook, again, almost gone, have rebounded and are expected to double in the next two or three years as increases in hatchery production take hold. Winter steelhead was largely confined to December and January, by February it was over and people didn't fish on the natives because they couldn't take them home. Certainly, early winter steelheading has sputtered seriously this past decade but in the 80's and 90's Clackamas winter steelhead were a bust, the Sandy performed well as did a number of coastal streams. Today, the success of brood stock programs have created later-timed runs that have also produced some serious crowding issues because of their productivity and popularity. Discussion is underway to expand these seasons into December-timed fisheries. This past decade has seen historic returns of salmon and steelhead on several years on the Columbia for fall chinook, coho and summer steelhead. "Historic" aka largest ever since Bonneville Dam was completed. Sockeye were all but gone and they've come roaring back creating a new fishery. Temperature regimes have been adjusted to "historic levels" on the Deschutes making it less favorable for Idaho-bound steelhead so while fishing's been generally good most years it's not like it used to be when the water was colder making it one of the best steelhead rivers in the country. It's still an incredible river. Kitzhaber and others in the 90's initiated the coastal coho plan in an effort to restore essential habitat and recover wild coho...it's worked and these past couple years we've been able to harvest wild coho. ODFW tested the waters on an idea to allow "limited harvest" of wild steelhead on the North Fork of the Umpqua because it's doing so well, it was shot down --- harvesting wild chinook, wild coho and wild coastal cutthroat is O.K. but not steelhead apparently. The STEP program in Coos Bay has been another unconditional success. Today, ODFW is working on new ideas to restore the traditional winter steelhead fishery on the Clackamas, which, if successful would provide steelhead fishing opportunity from December to April, something that was never available in "the good old days". Discontinued hatchery plants of coho in the Yamhill and Tualatin have succeeded on their own allowing a new fishery there. ODFW is going to increase the plants of spring chinook into the Tillamook Bay fishery, they're entertaining similar opportunity on the Nestucca and Yaquina Rivers.

All this has been achieved under the enormous constraints of the Endangered Species Act. The States, Oregon, Washington and Idaho work hard to manage these fisheries at the state level so the feds don't step in to manage them on their behalf. Most believe that if the Federal Government did step in seasons would be far more restrictive than they are and hatchery production would be severely curtailed.

So while I agree...it's not perfect...it's pretty good, and in many ways much better than it used to be. As some friends of mine are finding out who have decided to get involved and work with ODFW in crafting some solutions, there's a lot that can be achieved if people organize and participate. And if you don't think a single person can make a difference then look to professional guide Jack Smith who almost single-handedly got the wild brood stock program going on the Wilson when anglers failed to participate in catching broodstock early in that program. Doing nothing achieves nothing...action creates action and the future's as bright as you want to make it.
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:35 PM   #38
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by rob allen View Post
Remember the late 80s and 90s. We have better fishing now and fewer plants. The grande ronde went from 1.25 million summer steelhead smolts to 825,000 and then had a record run.. The number of fish you plant is proven by history over and over not to correspond how many adults return.
Yes sir I remember them well!! Great fishing! Lots and lots of fish of every kind. Filling tags was no big deal. Plus all that we let go. Don`t tell me we have better fishing and bigger returns now. Maybe in your rivers but not mine. There is just no way you can plant fewer fish and get a bigger return. The math doesn`t add up. By the way I remember the early 70`s and early 80`s as well.
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:39 PM   #39
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

If it's got to be one or the other, I still side with wild.
That said I think there is room for both if hatchery smolt plants are done with much consideration to the wild run.
It seems to me that that's what is evolving right now and the fishing, well it hasn't been too bad lately.
I am not in favor of stocking the rivers to the brim with hatchery fish "because life is too short".
The river should be different than the trout farm.
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:47 PM   #40
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Yes sir I remember them well!! Great fishing! Lots and lots of fish of every kind. Filling tags was no big deal. Plus all that we let go. Don`t tell me we have better fishing and bigger returns now. Maybe in your rivers but not mine. There is just no way you can plant fewer fish and get a bigger return. The math doesn`t add up. By the way I remember the early 70`s and early 80`s as well.

Planting fewer and getting bigger returns than before is completely possible....Look at places like Alaska or BC where there are no hatcheries and massive returns. With the average being what, 1 to 3%(?) just because you plant a lot of fish doesn't mean a lot of fish are going to live to see your hook.
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:55 PM   #41
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Old Coot View Post
I've gone fishing and caught hatchery fish, I've gone fishing and not caught wild fish. I found catching hatchery fish more enjoyable than not catching anything, wild or not.

List me as a strong supporter of hatchery stocking.
I so agree. I`d rather spend the day catching hatchery fish then spend the day floating down the river catching nothing at all. Hatchery fish are just as good as natives. To say a native fights harder? I`ve had a lot of hatchery fish eat my lunch. Then I`ve had natives come right in. Eating wise, their the same. Yes I`ve eaten natives back in the day and still would if it was leagle. They look exactly the same but one doesn`t have a clip. They bite the same too. Bring on hatchery Steelhead and Salmon. Sure hope I spelled everything and punctuated right.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:14 PM   #42
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

You give fish good habitat and leave them alone for a while anything is possible. Even more fish from less being stocked. Good habitat and conditions is #1.The run of salmon on a nearby stream i volunteer on are wild but of hatchery origin. they were pretty much done (less than 2 dozen fish returned every year) and a program was started to help them reach better spawning and rearing habitat.
5 years later we have over 150 fish and it's getting better every fall with even more habitat restoration.I use to think all non native genes were bad, and i'm sure SOME still are, but my point is, you can make wild fish & hatchery fish work for you A LOT better if you let them reach good habitat or make it for them.


it has been shown and documented about everywhere in the northwest since we have sorta gone into conservation mode and look what it does. Look at our wild coastal coho in oregon as an example. The vast majority of that was c&r for a while and habitat restoration. I just wish they would do more of it for steelhead too.


and to say hatchery fish and native fish are one in the same is just ignorant,because they really aren't the same.Hatchery fish aren't terrible,they aren't bad for the environment or anything like that. But they are not a native fish.They don't fight the same,and they don't act the same,they aren't born or raised the same.THeir genes aren't the same (not saying they're bad,just different) But if they were exactly the same as a few of you guys seem to think, then why don't we have just all wild? it would be just the same as all hatchery then wouldn't it?


i love hatchery fish.And i eat tons of them.But what i don't like is when people talk out of their butts and make completely irrelevant arguments because they are mad they don't get 1 million hatchery fish in their river of choice every season. lets be real here and have realistic goals,and not be so one sided? a lot of people have stepped up the past year or two trying to make a difference but making our fisheries will go nowhere when everyone is so hell bent on having one or the other.


Not every river needs hatchery fish

and not every river can sustain wild fish and needs hatchery.

some rivers are perfect for both.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:41 PM   #43
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Orflyfisher24 View Post
and to say hatchery fish and native fish are one in the same is just ignorant,because they really aren't the same.Hatchery fish aren't terrible,they aren't bad for the environment or anything like that. But they are not a native fish.They don't fight the same,and they don't act the same,they aren't born or raised the same.THeir genes aren't the same (not saying they're bad,just different) But if they were exactly the same as a few of you guys seem to think, then why don't we have just all wild? it would be just the same as all hatchery then wouldn't it?
I just gotta ask, is there any scientific proof to back this up? Aside from anglers claiming it so, I really can't see the difference being huge. Now being raised in a closed small concrete pen, not having to really fight for your life, I can see that affecting the life skills of a hatchery fish. But the stupid and weak fish are going to be culled by life, between seals, other fish, mammals, cormorants (or birds in general) ect and the healthy smart(er) fish will proceed to the ocean, completing the exact same journey, eating the same things, dodging the same predators ect as a wild fish. I just can't see them somehow still being inferior to its counterpart. Not to mention they came from wild fish at some point so the genes started the same. Especially if you are to consider hatchery techniques like egg boxes or hatchery fish that are planted at a very early stage of their life where they spend more time in the river than at the hatchery doing everything like a wild. Where exactly does this genetic difference take place and why?? And why exactly are hatchery fish spawning with wild fish bad too? If you were to take wild fish eggs, do the hatchery dance, then have those first generation hatchery fish come back and spawn with wild fish, and then those hybrid (or maybe hatchery/hatchery) offspring are going to again do the exact same thing as their wild counterpart do the genetics return to the wild fish?? There is a lot of factors and questions to this that I don't think we have answers to say that hatchery fish are inferior. And maybe after years of hatchery fish the genetics may change, I could buy that, but then why not just let first gen hatchery fish spawn and start with wilds again like a broodstock program? Mixed with things like hatch boxes I believe any inferiority of hatchery fish could easily be weaned out.

I completely agree about the habitat thing though, the fish are amazing really how they go from the brink of extinction to bouncing back in some places. Some of the Portland creeks are good examples of this. While elk hunting I saw fish spawning in a creek maybe 2ft wide at its widest spot...truly amazing what these fish can do.
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:32 PM   #44
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

good question,and it's the million dollar question everyone has. This was an interesting read via the odfw archives.I guess i could be playing armchair,but it's my opinion based off everything i have seen,read,and experienced from my volunteer work with fisheries stuff the past few years. But take a look on odfw and see what you can dig up,there are a lot of cool studies like this.

my question for you nate, is there any study or proof that they aren't different at all? i've been looking for one.


EDIT: i forgot to add, The part about habitat use was most interesting to me. my favorite quote from the study :

"Hatchery and wild steelhead trout differed both physiologically
and morphologically. Hatchery fish caught at the screw
trap were larger but had lower levels of gill Na+,K+-ATPase
activity when compared with wild fish caught at the same
time. In 2004, a subsample of hatchery and wild fish caught
at the screw trap were subjected to 24 h saltwater challenges.
These challenges confirmed the gill Na+,K+-ATPase sampling
results: wild fish performed better in saltwater when
compared with hatchery fish, as indicated by higher gill
Na+,K+-ATPase activity, and had better regulation of plasma
[Na+] levels and osmolality. Morphometric data on the
released fish reveal that hatchery fish are shaped differently
than wild fish (B. Kennedy, G.B. Zydlewski, K. Ostrand"


http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/OHRC...%202006%29.pdf
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Old 12-07-2014, 05:50 PM   #45
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by rob allen View Post
Remember the late 80s and 90s. We have better fishing now and fewer plants. The grande ronde went from 1.25 million summer steelhead smolts to 825,000 and then had a record run.. The number of fish you plant is proven by history over and over not to correspond how many adults return.
This is not a good example. If you think about how far up the system these fish travel and the dams they must pass. The outmigration factors would be the biggest key as to why less smolt are making bigger returns. Recently there has been much effort to accommodate outmigrating fish. This will have a bigger effect on returns than the number of smolts planted. If there was a better example with a stream with less factors in the equation it would be more convincing.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:33 PM   #46
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

The beauty of these broodstock fish is that they are one in the same as these "natives". They come from the same river, end up in the same ocean and feed on the same things and they school together and come back to the same river. I can't tell the difference, other than the adipose and maxillary. They bite the same offerings and hold in the same places.

The only difference I see is that most spawn naturally and some artificially. I don't see any harm in boosting the runs a bit with more of these fish as long as we can keep balance between rivers and ocean.

It's like saying that a women that has become pregnant naturally has a legitimate child and calling a child that was produced by insemination illegitimate. Yet they each go through the same phases and all of lifes challenges as one another. In reality they are no different, they are human beings.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:42 PM   #47
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Orflyfisher24 View Post
my question for you nate, is there any study or proof that they aren't different at all? i've been looking for one.


http://www.dfw.state.or.us/fish/OHRC...%202006%29.pdf
Good point, but I think our questions are almost the exact same, just differently worded. I have some reading to do, thanks for sharing that study!
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:44 PM   #48
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

brewder, i agree about the fish passage being a good contributor to better numbers that's a very good point.

I think it would be more comparable to a test tube baby not artificial insemination.Their life stages are altered because they don't come out of the gravel and stick around for a bit and go to the ocean. they are born in a hatchery and live in ponds then get put in the river.They don't lack skills genetically but they lack the experience. But wouldn't you think after years of breeding hatchery fish they would become somewhat genetically different and adapt to hatchery life over wild? you could make the same case for hatchery fish that spawn in the wild if left to do so long enough. they would learn quick and adapt.Like upper willamette coho for example.



how about this, you have 2 kids.

one raised in a low income household, maybe has one parent that has a GED or diploma,is on food stamps and housing and all that.


the other kid is raised by both parents in a nice house and both parents are smart financially and went to college.

which kid is most likely to become a successful adult?



read away on that study nate! it's really cool.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:46 PM   #49
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

If we treated our women like hatchery fish.

We would club and kill them. We would remove their ovaries and harvest their eggs. We would artificially inseminate all of the eggs and grow the juveniles in an artificial environment. We would raise them up in concrete cells, then send them out into the world and when they came back to us with bright eyes we would club and kill them to start the indignity all over. Is this what we really want?
Would you support this if the government agencies said this was the more economical way to "manage" our population?
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:00 PM   #50
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Orflyfisher24 View Post
I think it would be more like a test tube baby not artificial insemination.Their life stages are altered because they don't come out of the gravel and stick around for a bit and go to the ocean. they are born in a hatchery and live in ponds then get put in the river.They don't lack skills genetically but they lack the experience. But wouldn't you think after years of breeding hatchery fish they would become somewhat genetically different and adapt to hatchery life over wild? you could make the same case for hatchery fish that spawn in the wild if left to do so long enough. they would learn quick and adapt.Like upper willamette coho for example.
You make a good point there and I wouldn't doubt that after years of this differences could arise. But at the same time I would think because the cycle is renewed perhaps not. The smolts that lack experience either learn fast, die or get lucky and live and come back to their home. (In this case a hatchery) I would say if they've made it that far they have had enough experience to survive making them fit as the next fish. Then they're spawned and the cycle starts over...unless the genetics of that fish changed in the three or so years it was in the ocean, the next fish is going to have the same genetics, and experiences assuming it is fit to survive the journey. Maybe the lucky fish could be dumbing down the gene pool but I would think that there are more fit than lucky fish considering all the hazards they face. Then comes in factors like barges carrying smolts down, and survival factors due to dams.

Another thing is that we should really be intergrading better feeding techniques to hatchery fish and more natural raceways prepping them for the wild. I'm rambling now though.

Those upper willy coho though...amazing what they've done for themselves. Unfortunately I have not caught any this year!
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:11 PM   #51
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Orflyfisher24 View Post
But wouldn't you think after years of breeding hatchery fish they would become somewhat genetically different and adapt to hatchery life over wild?.
That is the thing about the broodstock programs is they are taking new "native" fish every season that anglers donate to spawn new fish, therefore they have no time to adapt to hatchery life. The only difference I could see is if they are producing broodstock from returning broodstock. But even at that they are the same "fish"... They just return to a pond instead of the gravel while the spawn. I'm sure if you let them they would spawn in the gravel as well.
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:34 PM   #52
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Orflyfisher24 View Post
brewder, i agree about the fish passage being a good contributor to better numbers that's a very good point.

I think it would be more comparable to a test tube baby not artificial insemination.Their life stages are altered because they don't come out of the gravel and stick around for a bit and go to the ocean. they are born in a hatchery and live in ponds then get put in the river.They don't lack skills genetically but they lack the experience. But wouldn't you think after years of breeding hatchery fish they would become somewhat genetically different and adapt to hatchery life over wild? you could make the same case for hatchery fish that spawn in the wild if left to do so long enough. they would learn quick and adapt.Like upper willamette coho for example.



how about this, you have 2 kids.

one raised in a low income household, maybe has one parent that has a GED or diploma,is on food stamps and housing and all that.


the other kid is raised by both parents in a nice house and both parents are smart financially and went to college.

which kid is most likely to become a successful adult?



read away on that study nate! it's really cool.
What you are saying is that the environment, not the genes is what determines how successful they will be as an adult. That means if you switched the 2 kids the result would switch, right? Kinda contradictory to thinking one is superior than the other from birth but rather the environment made the difference not the genetics. Until the hatchery steelhead is Considered a different species than a wild steelhead, they are still the same species which means same genes for both.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:33 AM   #53
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

When you finish booting this around, the answer is to improve the hatchery product so that it can coexist with the wild fish without denigrating the gene pool.

We "need" both...
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Old 12-08-2014, 09:38 AM   #54
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

We will never

Un-pollute
Un-dam
Un-Dike
Un-straighten
Stop commerical harvest
Stop human/environment conflict
Create new predation opportunities

Ill admit that the "green revolution" hatchery method... (using one strain and just dumping tons of them in many different rivers) is silly. However, knowing the challenges we face why can we not perfect brood-stock and gene-bank systems to leave the gravel for fish that are fit enough to return and also make up for the human impact with fish designed for that river.

As far as I know the only argument (besides hatcheries cost money) is that why take broodstock fish? Why not just let them spawn naturally? I am not biologist but it seems to me that bolstering natural reproduction with a broodstock only helps increase our knowledge and still creates harvest opportunity for those that like to fish?

I don't know the answers but I know we can agree that if angling opportunity goes away so will the fish. Create more anglers and you create more people that care and want change... this is the only real way to create a future for our fish.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:34 PM   #55
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by KokaSteelNook View Post
Fishing is just as good with fewer plants? How`s that? If you got twice as many fish coming back, isn`t fishing going to be twice as good? I sure have not seen an improvement in the Steelhead runs in the last few years. Back in the 80`s there was fish everywhere. It stands to reason the more fish you plant the more your going to get back. Your only going to get a certain percentage of those fish back. It doesn`t matter if you plant 1000 or 100,000. If 1% equals 10 fish or 1000 fish.
That would be true IF survival rates were a constant, fixed % ~ but what makes you assume that's the case for a complex open ecosystem? Have you ever actually studied any biology?

Do you also believe you automatically get twice as much back in gov't services for every 2X increase in taxes? Same logic, as long as you ignore that there are other factors at work in the system so it doesn't always scale in a straight line.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:51 PM   #56
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Phillip Smesrud View Post
I don't think we "need" hatchery fish. Why do you think we need them? Try to separate the wants from the needs.
No one brought up ocean conditions you can have 10 million outgoing wild fish and if theirs no feed in the ocean very few will return. The next question is what do you call wild? Does anyone think the Clackamas river have any wild fish left in it? Hard to believe if you look at its history it was dammed near its mouth with no passage for years at a time(PGE website) and the hatchery practices in the late 1800's early 1900's on the river were pathetic at best. The Salmon river (Tributary of the Sandy) had a hatchery on it in the 1880's and they used Skamania hatchery stock from Washington for decades. How many years did wild and hatchery fish intermingle on the spawning beds? How many of you think all those wild Coho above Willamette falls are really wild, if you do where did they come from? Historically their were never any wild Coho above the falls.

I would love to have healthy wild fish populations in every river that could support them but that's a pipe dream in 2014 imo as I doubt their are many true wild fish left with the poor hatchery practice's both Oregon and Washington provided for a 100 years

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Old 12-08-2014, 04:42 PM   #57
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

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Originally Posted by Silentwalker View Post
The wild fish revival is a lost cause.
If you're going to say that, then human existence is a "lost cause."

I would rather see wild fish than hatchery fish, because that indicates that we have not yet destroyed our own habitat.

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Old 12-09-2014, 07:16 AM   #58
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Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Keep some Rivers as Wild fish streams, choosing the most isolated, & or un-disturbed by Humans as possible, & controlled Hatchery stocks for the rest.
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Old 12-09-2014, 12:55 PM   #59
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X2



Quote:
Originally Posted by TCox19 View Post
there were 4 thousand seals and sealions in the river last year and and exploding population of cormorants....need to improve habitat and limit the number of predators. Improving the smolt survival rate by only a couple of percent would be huge. Some areas have less than 1% survival rate.
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Old 12-20-2014, 06:30 PM   #60
BigBullz
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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Posts: 160
Default Re: A few wilds or millions of hatchery fish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trey Carskadon View Post
Growing up and fishing the Willamette for springers we saw few caught and for years there just wasn't much going on. 5 million spring Chinook smolts are released annually into the Willamette yet the return rate has been exceptionally low. ODFW is trying to rememdy this and there are ideas on the table that might help to get the return rate up to the 100,000 fish objective. The Columbia was closed for springers and summer Chinook through most of the 70's, 80's and 90's and even when it was open in the 70's the returns were so low that very little catching went on. Today, 50 million smolts are released into the Columbia and seasons are open and will continue to grow as the management reforms expand seasons. Summer chinook, again, almost gone, have rebounded and are expected to double in the next two or three years as increases in hatchery production take hold. Winter steelhead was largely confined to December and January, by February it was over and people didn't fish on the natives because they couldn't take them home. Certainly, early winter steelheading has sputtered seriously this past decade but in the 80's and 90's Clackamas winter steelhead were a bust, the Sandy performed well as did a number of coastal streams. Today, the success of brood stock programs have created later-timed runs that have also produced some serious crowding issues because of their productivity and popularity. Discussion is underway to expand these seasons into December-timed fisheries. This past decade has seen historic returns of salmon and steelhead on several years on the Columbia for fall chinook, coho and summer steelhead. "Historic" aka largest ever since Bonneville Dam was completed. Sockeye were all but gone and they've come roaring back creating a new fishery. Temperature regimes have been adjusted to "historic levels" on the Deschutes making it less favorable for Idaho-bound steelhead so while fishing's been generally good most years it's not like it used to be when the water was colder making it one of the best steelhead rivers in the country. It's still an incredible river. Kitzhaber and others in the 90's initiated the coastal coho plan in an effort to restore essential habitat and recover wild coho...it's worked and these past couple years we've been able to harvest wild coho. ODFW tested the waters on an idea to allow "limited harvest" of wild steelhead on the North Fork of the Umpqua because it's doing so well, it was shot down --- harvesting wild chinook, wild coho and wild coastal cutthroat is O.K. but not steelhead apparently. The STEP program in Coos Bay has been another unconditional success. Today, ODFW is working on new ideas to restore the traditional winter steelhead fishery on the Clackamas, which, if successful would provide steelhead fishing opportunity from December to April, something that was never available in "the good old days". Discontinued hatchery plants of coho in the Yamhill and Tualatin have succeeded on their own allowing a new fishery there. ODFW is going to increase the plants of spring chinook into the Tillamook Bay fishery, they're entertaining similar opportunity on the Nestucca and Yaquina Rivers.

All this has been achieved under the enormous constraints of the Endangered Species Act. The States, Oregon, Washington and Idaho work hard to manage these fisheries at the state level so the feds don't step in to manage them on their behalf. Most believe that if the Federal Government did step in seasons would be far more restrictive than they are and hatchery production would be severely curtailed.

So while I agree...it's not perfect...it's pretty good, and in many ways much better than it used to be. As some friends of mine are finding out who have decided to get involved and work with ODFW in crafting some solutions, there's a lot that can be achieved if people organize and participate. And if you don't think a single person can make a difference then look to professional guide Jack Smith who almost single-handedly got the wild brood stock program going on the Wilson when anglers failed to participate in catching broodstock early in that program. Doing nothing achieves nothing...action creates action and the future's as bright as you want to make it.
This is very possibly the best post I've read on this site... Well done sir.
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