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All of the anti-hatchery people conveniently forget one fact:
The Great Lakes have numerous rivers which have strong naturally reproducing steelhead runs. 100% of which whose ancestors were hatchery raised any number of generations ago.
You can argue all you want about how different the environment is, lack of predators etc.... it seems to me those arguments just strengthen the position it is not hateries causing the problem.
I agree past hatchery practices were poor, but that is in the past. In basin hatchery stock, wild broodstock programs as well as Hatch box programs should be greatly expanded before the problems get any worse.
 

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What I don't understand is why hatchery winter steelhead on the hood have been discontinued, where spring Chinook are going to continue to be produced at the hatchery in parkdale. How are the steelhead an issue when springers are cool? Obviously I would like to see both. Can someone explain?
 

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What I don't understand is why hatchery winter steelhead on the hood have been discontinued, where spring Chinook are going to continue to be produced at the hatchery in parkdale. How are the steelhead an issue when springers are cool? Obviously I would like to see both. Can someone explain?
I’m not very familiar with Hood River, but I can venture a guess based on other rivers in the area. I bet that NFS either filed or threatened to file a lawsuit based on the Araki and Kostow studies to stop the use of out of basin stocks for hatchery broodstock. Then, I bet they either filed or threatened a lawsuit based on the ESA to block the use of wild fish for broodstock. This approach works even better if they can start the process by suing to remove the sorting facility so they can really twist the PHOS data in their lawsuits (think “Sandy River”).

I for one would love to see Alsea Assassin and SSpey continue their debate. I have read all of these studies and tried to decipher their implications, but I’d rather learn from an actual biologist like AA (sorry, I don’t know who SSpey is, but he sounds smarter than me, too).

I think this topic is the third most important factor in fish restoration (behind habitat / dam mitigation and ocean-commercial exploitation), but I think it is the most important factor in sportfishing in the near-term. We’ve lived with 20 years of this anti-hatchery nonsense based on apparently flawed science, and I think the results speak for themselves. I think there are some things to look forward to based on the success of tribal conservation hatcheries on the Snake River and based on positive trends on the Clackamas (finally!) thanks to habitat restoration and fish passage improvements (thanks Alsea Assasin!). We just have to get past the anti-hatchery dogma and implement recent innovations, and maybe fishing will start to improve again.


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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
anti-hatchery nonsense based on apparently flawed science
It is possible that you’re being misled about this. What flawed science? Poke holes in a couple studies, ok, but the larger body of science showing hatchery effects on wild fish hasn’t been overturned.

Instead, what seems to be happening (aided by angler advocacy groups) is a conflation of how genetics affects abundance vs productivity (which are separate metrics of population viability). Reality is there is a lack of solid scientific analysis of how different programs (traditional vs wild broodstock) affect wild fish overall via mining, angler encounter rates, and pHOS risks. But managers gotta manage, the old way clearly had problems, so let’s try something different!

The science and our understanding are incomplete. But to say it is “flawed” and “outdated” as justification for starting wild broodstock programs everywhere is really just a marketing message by fishermen, for fishermen.
 

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All of the anti-hatchery people conveniently forget one fact:
The Great Lakes have numerous rivers which have strong naturally reproducing steelhead runs. 100% of which whose ancestors were hatchery raised any number of generations ago.
You can argue all you want about how different the environment is, lack of predators etc.... it seems to me those arguments just strengthen the position it is not hateries causing the problem.
I agree past hatchery practices were poor, but that is in the past. In basin hatchery stock, wild broodstock programs as well as Hatch box programs should be greatly expanded before the problems get any worse.
I've been beating this drum for years. And people here still don't believe that the tributary fishing around the Great Lakes is BETTER than it is here, where the original fish came from. Steelhead, Chinook and Coho.......back when I lived there I had some 10 fish days. Little streams 20 feet wide with lots of wood debris and cool, flowing water and full of steelhead willing to bite. Something the PNW can only dream about. Many of those little streams were never stocked--think about that. They were populated by hatchery strays successfully spawning and the offspring returning year after year. This 'only wild fish' and no hatchery release argument drives me crazy.
 

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"This adds confusion because metrics of genetic risk such as pHOS and PNI are not expected to predict annual deviations in adult recruitment. The metrics pHOS and PNI are used to index genetic risk from domestication selection and introgression that can, over longer periods of time, reduce the productivity of natural-origin spawners."

The above statement is taken from the rebuttal in the Canadian Journal. Below is a chart of Umpqua Summer Steelhead at Winchester Dam provided by ODFW. If productivity was reduced from a high pHOS as stated for the Umpqua river, one would think the number of natural spawning steelhead would decline over 60 years. The only decline seen is in the last ten years and declines are seen for both HO (red) and NO (blue) fish equally, suggesting a common denominator such as ocean conditions may be to blame. In fact, NO numbers returning after the two peaks in hatchery returns showed an increase. I have a similar chart of Elk River Fall Chinook that demonstrated a high pHOS yet the number of NO fish returning over 40 years has remained fairly constant. The domestication believers list the success of HO x NO at 0.5. If this were true, the blue line should be diminishing, especially after the two peaks in HO fish. No theories here, just the facts.
Rectangle Slope Plot Parallel Font
 

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Didn’t you
It is possible that you’re being misled about this. What flawed science? Poke holes in a couple studies, ok, but the larger body of science showing hatchery effects on wild fish hasn’t been overturned.

Instead, what seems to be happening (aided by angler advocacy groups) is a conflation of how genetics affects abundance vs productivity (which are separate metrics of population viability). Reality is there is a lack of solid scientific analysis of how different programs (traditional vs wild broodstock) affect wild fish overall via mining, angler encounter rates, and pHOS risks. But managers gotta manage, the old way clearly had problems, so let’s try something different!

The science and our understanding are incomplete. But to say it is “flawed” and “outdated” as justification for starting wild broodstock programs everywhere is really just a marketing message by fishermen, for fishermen.
Didn’t you start this thread with an article that poked a few holes in a different study?

what is the difference between abundance and productivity? Are that at least highly correlated?

If we aren’t focused on abundance here on a fishing forum, what exactly are we doing here?
 

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It is possible that you’re being misled about this. What flawed science? Poke holes in a couple studies, ok, but the larger body of science showing hatchery effects on wild fish hasn’t been overturned.

Instead, what seems to be happening (aided by angler advocacy groups) is a conflation of how genetics affects abundance vs productivity (which are separate metrics of population viability). Reality is there is a lack of solid scientific analysis of how different programs (traditional vs wild broodstock) affect wild fish overall via mining, angler encounter rates, and pHOS risks. But managers gotta manage, the old way clearly had problems, so let’s try something different!

The science and our understanding are incomplete. But to say it is “flawed” and “outdated” as justification for starting wild broodstock programs everywhere is really just a marketing message by fishermen, for fishermen.
I don’t understand your last paragraph. 15-20 years ago, the call went out based mainly on the Kostow (Clackamas River) and Arikai (Hood River) studies to end traditional hatchery plants. This spun up the HSRG to “fix” hatchery practices, and it created the mechanism for all of the NFS lawsuits. Now that we’ve had 5-10 generations of salmonids under that regime and the results haven’t been stellar, the same “wild fish advocates” that were pushing for broodstock programs has turned against them and are blaming greedy fishermen for their implementation. It is difficult for me to see this as anything but anti-sportfishing since the data isn’t showing that it is the promised magic bullet to recover wild fish.


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Didn’t you


Didn’t you start this thread with an article that poked a few holes in a different study?

what is the difference between abundance and productivity? Are that at least highly correlated?

If we aren’t focused on abundance here on a fishing forum, what exactly are we doing here?
Something about how sometime in a fisherman’s life we put down the rod and just watch the fish or some B$ along those lines…
 

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I want to know if each "wild steelhead " on the Hood River or any river that has had hatchery fish released in it has had any scale samples done to prove its an actual wild steelhead? I would bet they are they calling a wild steelhead anything with an adipose fin. This is what everyone does. If thats the case then the study is wrong and was a waste of time. The study is not based off wild fish, its based off fish with an adipose fin. A "Native fish". To me thats BS. The reason I say this is because once a hatchery fish is released in the river with a clipped adipose fin it will then go to the ocean and a few years later come back to spawn. When the fish comes back to the river to spawn it then spawns in the river. There is no one in the river to catch and clip the fins of the offspring and so now they are a "wild fish". The offspring now have the genes of a Hatchery fish not a wild fish. But those fish are now "Native Fish". Unless im missing something.
 

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I want to know if each "wild steelhead " on the Hood River or any river that has had hatchery fish released in it has had any scale samples done to prove its an actual wild steelhead? I would bet they are they calling a wild steelhead anything with an adipose fin. This is what everyone does. If thats the case then the study is wrong and was a waste of time. The study is not based off wild fish, its based off fish with an adipose fin. A "Native fish". To me thats BS. The reason I say this is because once a hatchery fish is released in the river with a clipped adipose fin it will then go to the ocean and a few years later come back to spawn. When the fish comes back to the river to spawn it then spawns in the river. There is no one in the river to catch and clip the fins of the offspring and so now they are a "wild fish". The offspring now have the genes of a Hatchery fish not a wild fish. But those fish are now "Native Fish". Unless im missing something.
I agree with you and only add that the genes of a hatchery fish, if from the same watershed, are no different from those fish that spawn naturally. It is only recently that 100% fin clipping was required. If a hatchery fish did not get clipped, it was a “wild“ fish when it returned as an adult.
 

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I live near hood river and like to angle for fish I can eat. What group do I need to join that will try and reasonably get some sort of keeper steelhead fishery going on the hood river in the future?


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I live near hood river and like to angle for fish I can eat. What group do I need to join that will try and reasonably get some sort of keeper steelhead fishery going on the hood river in the future?


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Good luck. Squeaky wheel is getting the grease at the moment. As much as some groups would tout their effort to improve the chances of what you seek, none have the legal leverage the anti-sport fishing groups do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I don’t understand your last paragraph. 15-20 years ago, the call went out based mainly on the Kostow (Clackamas River) and Arikai (Hood River) studies to end traditional hatchery plants. This spun up the HSRG to “fix” hatchery practices, and it created the mechanism for all of the NFS lawsuits. Now that we’ve had 5-10 generations of salmonids under that regime and the results haven’t been stellar, the same “wild fish advocates” that were pushing for broodstock programs has turned against them and are blaming greedy fishermen for their implementation. It is difficult for me to see this as anything but anti-sportfishing since the data isn’t showing that it is the promised magic bullet to recover wild fish.


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The last paragraph states that the science is not flawed. Where are these flawed peer-reviewed studies stating that switching from traditional to wild broodstock hatchery programs will be a magic bullet to recover wild fish? Magic bullet? Your words.

What was stated and summarized by HSRG is: recommendations for either segregating H vs W (to reduce interaction) or using wild broodstock where segregation was less feasible (to reduce adverse effects). Not a silver bullet, but a call to change some aspects of traditional hatchery programs that were clearly causing problems.

Since the 2014 HSRG report, there’s been new studies with wild broodstock steelhead showing rapid negative effects of domestication. And no studies that I know about comprehensively evaluate the full range of effects of wild broodstock programs caused by both genetic factors plus fisheries impacts of longer seasons and increased encounter rates.
 

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When I hear or read the phrase "the science" I think of all the falsehoods that followed after in the recent two years.

Essentially we have been told that hatchery fish are inferior and have low reproductive rates..... so common sense says no worries about them spawning with "wild" fish. But oh no, there is something called epigenetics... that hatchery smolt is different genetically from the wild broodstock parents and we can't have those mix either.... and on it goes to the point that a poster above refered to these various groups that fund these correctly as anti sport fishing groups. That is what they are.

Now, to SSPEY's sort of point, for every scientist, you can find an equal an opposite scientist, here is another article... or rather an English version of the Courter study.

NEW HOOD RIVER STUDY: SPAWNING HATCHERY STEELHEAD HAVE LITTLE INFLUENCE ON WILD FISH PRODUCTIVITY - DRC News & Resources (deschutesriver.org)

Me talk pretty one day
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
When I hear or read the phrase "the science" I think of all the falsehoods that followed after in the recent two years.

Essentially we have been told that hatchery fish are inferior and have low reproductive rates..... so common sense says no worries about them spawning with "wild" fish. But oh no, there is something called epigenetics... that hatchery smolt is different genetically from the wild broodstock parents and we can't have those mix either.... and on it goes to the point that a poster above refered to these various groups that fund these correctly as anti sport fishing groups. That is what they are.

Now, to SSPEY's sort of point, for every scientist, you can find an equal an opposite scientist, here is another article... or rather an English version of the Courter study.

NEW HOOD RIVER STUDY: SPAWNING HATCHERY STEELHEAD HAVE LITTLE INFLUENCE ON WILD FISH PRODUCTIVITY - DRC News & Resources (deschutesriver.org)

Me talk pretty one day
Jagosh, what false hoods? Be specific if you can. Your post above only reinforces my concern that people are being misled.

The entire purpose of my original post is to point out communications arising, which question the legitimacy of the Courter et al 2022 study described in the news article you’ve linked above. Reposting a description of Courter 2022 doesn’t address the concerns raised.

Perhaps go back to the original post and links therein to understand the concern. Courter’s use of pHOS (a measure of genetic risk) is questionable at best as a predictor of annual abundance.
 

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Essentially we have been told that hatchery fish are inferior and have low reproductive rates..... so common sense says no worries about them spawning with "wild" fish.
The issue is that a HxW pairing will result in less than a replacement number fish. Basically, that W fish's spawning was wasted. The worse the fitness of the H fish, the worse the success rate.
 

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Courter’s use of pHOS (a measure of genetic risk) is questionable at best as a predictor of annual abundance.
Says the study you posted "at best"...... I am sure Courter may have a counter to this opinion in the future so we can continue to watch the scientist's back and forth.

All I know is when they reduce or eliminate hatcher plants, the fishing sucks. If genetics are so important.... and that is also up for debate, then there aren't really any all-natural genetics around anymore. It is a measure that isn't a valid marker any longer. I get that from the adipose worship crowd that says hatchery fish spawn with wild fish and pHOS is such a huge issue. If that is true, then there is no wild gene pool, and all this chatter is just hot air intended to shut down fishing. Yep, intended, it's not a byproduct of this research, it's the goal going in.
 
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