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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There has been lots of interest on ifish and promotion by H&W Coexist about a recent Courter study that was claimed to debunk Araki’s work on hatchery effects on Hood River steelhead.

Well, the dust is settling and what an interesting mess it is:


from the Falcy rebuttal:

Courter et al. (2022) address one of the most complicated and disputed topics in fisheries management—the effects of hatchery-origin fish on natural-origin fish. I contend that Courter et al. misinterpret and misstate evidence, adding confusion to a topic that needs clarity”

“The Courter et al. thesis of no negative effect from hatcheries is not supported by their analysis. Indeed, Courter et al.'s results suggest the opposite thesis: No effect of pHOS on annual deviations in recruitment and low population productivity are consistent with a negative effect of hatchery fish on productivity of natural-origin spawners.”

“There are many other issues in Courter et al. not discussed in this commentary (priors not described, misinterpretations of others’ published work, type II inferential error). While some specialized scientists can judge the severity of all the issues in Courter et al. for themselves, members of the broader public usually cannot. Specious language that sews confusion about evidence for effects (or lack thereof) of hatchery-origin fish allows spin and motivated reasoning to affect public policy.”


Don’t shoot the messenger, just sharing so folks can see that no single scientific study is the be-all, end-all on this issue.
 

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The effects of no hatchery fish on the upper Clack and Molalla are quite evident. Ruined a perfectly great recreational opportunity in the metro area which in turn created a massive exodus off those rivers and on to the Wilson, Nestucca, Trask, Nehalem and Kilchis . After all that destruction of traditional fishing areas that could handle large amounts of fishing with superb access that families used to enjoy, ODFW has the gall to ask for more license $.
 

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“Thus, we could begin a hatchery program in a basin that does not have steelhead and subsequently find natural-origin recruits.”

Wouldn’t this be fun!

One can hide behind ivory tower language all they want but demonstrating intelligence also means one can look at what’s been done to the Clackamas and reduced hatchery plants didn’t do jack squat for summer runs. We don’t even have to rely on stoned out hippies counting redds since we have a sorting facility. One can also look at the devastation to steelhead runs in Washington due to removal of hatchery fish.

The “eyes” have it.

Now, to your actual point, for every view about fish that I hold, I can find science to back it up… and so can anyone with views opposite my own.

Was there a study the author did that I missed or was he just giving his opinion on a flaw in the modeling?
 

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If I'm not mistaken, I believe the hatchery fish on the hood came from wild broodstock, or natural origin spawners. It seems the biologist who wrote the rebuttal goes to great lengths to discredit the original author. It's awful that they discontinued hatchery fish, taking away an opportunity that's close to home.
 

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I miss that fishery too. We used to park downtown and walk down to the river past the train station and fish our way up river. Drive up river a ways and walk down. My grandpa fished it from way back. Hatcheries should be going full blast. Tell me how natives are ever going to make a full come-back?
 

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Another way to look at Matt’s rebuttal is its standard operating procedure for scientists to vilify those who challenge an established paradigm.

Perhaps the largest piece of evidence for this is the continual movement of the analytical goalposts in response to a result someone doesn’t agree with. It’s even more interesting that an old ODFW bio who now works for the University of Idaho would throw his name in the ring in defense of old ODFW work. The institutional defense (and bias) runs strong. IMO this is an opinion piece full of jargon (even as a professional biologist) that rests on reputation clout, not a true analytical rebuttal (the acknowledgments infer that very thing).

There will be a published rebuttal to Matt’s rebuttal and the search for hatchery effect or lack there of will continue (as it should). It’s unfortunate that it’s come to a professional urination match between researchers (callin’ this as I see it). “It’s not how I would have done it so it must not be valid.” That doesn’t resonate without actually doing the analysis your way to see if the results disagree. I’m surprised the journal didn’t require that when the rebuttal was published. Cheap and easy way out IMO.
 

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Do you have a direct link to the rebuttal to Matt’s comment? I couldn't find it

QUOTE="AlseaAssassin, post: 16898731, member: 3786"]
Another way to look at Matt’s rebuttal is its standard operating procedure for scientists to vilify those who challenge an established paradigm.

Perhaps the largest piece of evidence for this is the continual movement of the analytical goalposts in response to a result someone doesn’t agree with. It’s even more interesting that an old ODFW bio who now works for the University of Idaho would throw his name in the ring in defense of old ODFW work. The institutional defense (and bias) runs strong. IMO this is an opinion piece full of jargon (even as a professional biologist) that rests on reputation clout, not a true analytical rebuttal (the acknowledgments infer that very thing).

There will be a published rebuttal to Matt’s rebuttal and the search for hatchery effect or lack there of will continue (as it should). It’s unfortunate that it’s come to a professional urination match between researchers (callin’ this as I see it). “It’s not how I would have done it so it must not be valid.” That doesn’t resonate without actually doing the analysis your way to see if the results disagree. Cheap and easy way out IMO.
[/QUOTE]
Another way to look at Matt’s rebuttal is its standard operating procedure for scientists to vilify those who challenge an established paradigm.

Perhaps the largest piece of evidence for this is the continual movement of the analytical goalposts in response to a result someone doesn’t agree with. It’s even more interesting that an old ODFW bio who now works for the University of Idaho would throw his name in the ring in defense of old ODFW work. The institutional defense (and bias) runs strong. IMO this is an opinion piece full of jargon (even as a professional biologist) that rests on reputation clout, not a true analytical rebuttal (the acknowledgments infer that very thing).

There will be a published rebuttal to Matt’s rebuttal and the search for hatchery effect or lack there of will continue (as it should). It’s unfortunate that it’s come to a professional urination match between researchers (callin’ this as I see it). “It’s not how I would have done it so it must not be valid.” That doesn’t resonate without actually doing the analysis your way to see if the results disagree. Cheap and easy way out IMO.
My original post contains a link to both rebuttals, the software here just formatted them differently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Perhaps the largest piece of evidence for this is the continual movement of the analytical goalposts in response to a result someone doesn’t agree with. It’s even more interesting that an old ODFW bio who now works for the University of Idaho would throw his name in the ring in defense of old ODFW work. The institutional defense (and bias) runs strong. IMO this is an opinion piece full of jargon (even as a professional biologist) that rests on reputation clout, not a true analytical rebuttal (the acknowledgments infer that very thing).
Falcy’s rebuttal doesn’t defend ODFW work. Not sure what you’re talking about? The only reference to anything ODFW is to point out, parenthetically, that Counter’s own data shows low intrinsic productivity relative to other published data (Chilcote, Goodson, Falcy … citing his own work here).

Falcy needn’t do his own analysis, there is none to be done. The point is simple, that the premise of Courter’s analysis is flawed. Metrics of genetic risk such as pHOS are not intended to predict annual variation in adult recruitment. Simple as that.
 

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Falcy’s rebuttal doesn’t defend ODFW work. Not sure what you’re talking about? The only reference to anything ODFW is to point out, parenthetically, that Counter’s own data shows low intrinsic productivity relative to other published data (Chilcote, Goodson, Falcy … citing his own work here).

Falcy needn’t do his own analysis, there is none to be done. The point is simple, that the premise of Courter’s analysis is flawed. Metrics of genetic risk such as pHOS are not intended to predict annual variation in adult recruitment. Simple as that.
It absolutely does when the motivation to issue the comment comes from concerns from authors previously employed by ODFW and threatens the current ODFW management paradigm.

To your second point he absolutely does. The key is in the IF the population had already experienced productivity decline . This is a key statement to prop his premise that the population had already been impaired. He doesn’t have that data (not stated at least) which is his primary issue with using the recruitment model to quantify effect. Further the testing of priors may or may not be a valid comment. Needs to be validated and is a method comment that may or may not influence the final results of the question asked. Again it’s casting shade without a knowing whether it was a factor. I’ve dealt with a similar comment and could make the same one on a large body of others work. However without running the analysis with an alternate method you don’t know if the critique is valid.

To your last point someone should ask federal managers if pHOS/PNI is a surrogate for influencing recruitment (spoiler alert that’s exactly what it intended to do).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It absolutely does when the motivation to issue the comment comes from concerns from authors previously employed by ODFW and threatens the current ODFW management paradigm.
The substance of the rebuttal is what matters.

To your second point he absolutely does. The key is in the IF the population had already experienced productivity decline . This is a key statement to prop his premise that the population had already been impaired. He doesn’t have that data (not stated at least) which is his primary issue with using the recruitment model to quantify effect. Further the testing of priors may or may not be a valid comment. Needs to be validated and is a method comment that may or may not influence the final results of the question asked. Again it’s casting shade without a knowing whether it was a factor. I’ve dealt with a similar comment and could make the same one on a large body of others work. However without running the analysis with an alternate method you don’t know if the critique is valid.
Running an alternate analysis is not necessary to prove that an approach is flawed. For example, you don’t need to demonstrate that hammers drive nails to prove that a sheet of paper can’t drive nails. When an approach is flawed, that’s enough.

To your last point someone should ask federal managers if pHOS/PNI is a surrogate for influencing recruitment (spoiler alert that’s exactly what it intended to do).
What managers do with imperfect information in order to manage doesn’t validate it as a scientific approach. This is true throughout the history of natural resource management. I don’t envy the managers, they are in a tough spot.
 

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The substance of the rebuttal is what matters.



Running an alternate analysis is not necessary to prove that an approach is flawed. For example, you don’t need to demonstrate that hammers drive nails to prove that a sheet of paper can’t drive nails. When an approach is flawed, that’s enough.





What managers do with imperfect information in order to manage doesn’t validate it as a scientific approach. This is true throughout the history of natural resource management. I don’t envy the managers, they are in a tough spot.
You do realize your last point is a contradiction to the science that led to it being a metric for management? It was an elegant sentence but the root of that metric is in the literature (primary the HR study by Araki).

The hammer and nail argument is not good enough for a published comment in a peer reviewing journal when it questions the methods used to arrive to the conclusion. If that is the standard we can heat up the keyboards and go revisionist history on literature used for fisheries management over the last two decades. I’d like to think professional biologists are better than that. We should hold comments that question the methods to the same standard the journal requires for publishing the article the first place. Either that or we have the wrong people in peer review positions l.
 

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Edit: fine to comment on scientific issues with the methods. But you can’t state the outcome would be different without running the analysis. Matt crossed the line there by throwing an assumption in on productivity IF the population had reduced productivity from hatchery influence prior to the data srt analyzed. He has no idea if that’s true or if it was influenced by habitat degradation or culture practices across the same time period l. It’s a complicated web but the journal needs to evaluate each comment accordingly. If and buts are candy and cake.
 

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Continuing crap where purity trumps abundance and that line of reasoning when turned into action means less fish, always.
 
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