IFish Fishing Forum banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got my hands on this interesting new report out entitled; Naturally Spawning Hatchery Steelhead Contribute to Smolt Production but Experience Low Reproductive Success

Unfortunately it is in the pdf format so I can’t copy/paste any or all of it but will attempt to type out the abstract for the article and offer to email the complete 10 page report to anyone interested in reading it.

The article is regarding Clackamas River hatchery summer and hatchery winter steelhead and Clackamas wild winter steelhead . All three were genetically tested along with out-migrating smolts. I find the results very interesting and of no surprise with the exception of the surprising success of the hatchery summers to spawn in the wild. As it turns out this was not a good thing.

Here’s the abstract:

“We used genetic mixture analyses to show that hatchery summer-run steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss, an introduced life history in the Clackamas basin of Oregon, where only winter-run steelhead are native, contributed to the naturally produced smolts out-migrating from the basin. Hatchery-produced summer steelhead smolts were released starting in 1971, and returning adults were passed above a dam into the upper Clackamas River until 1999. In the two years of our study, summer steelhead adults, mostly hatchery fish, made up 60% to 82% of the natural spawners in the river. Genetic results provided evidence that interbreeding between hatchery summer and wild winter steelhead was likely minor. Hatchery summer steelhead reproductive success was relatively poor. We estimated that they produced only about one-third the number of smolts per parent that wild winter steelhead produced. However, the proportions of summer natural smolts were large (36-53% of the total naturally produced smolts in the basin) because hatchery adults predominated on the spawning grounds during our study. Very few natural-origin summer adults were observed, suggesting high mortality of the naturally produced smolts following emigration. Counts at the dam demonstrated that hatchery summer steelhead predominated on natural spawning grounds throughout the 24-year hatchery program. Our data support a conclusion that hatchery summer steelhead adults and their offspring contribute to wild winter steelhead population declines through competition for spawning and rearing habitats”.

So what I find interesting about this report is that both hatchery and wild strains of steelhead adults and smolts were identified through genetic testing. It appears that the summers were more successful at spawning in the wild than previously thought. The progeny of these naturally spawning summer hatchery fish had poor survival rates in the wild (which is consistent with science). The slightly earlier spawning summer hatchery steelhead were using up the limited natural spawning grounds and rearing habitat with no positive results for the naturally spawning summers and at the same time contributed to the decline of the Clackamas native winter steelhead.

Anyone wanting the report email me and I will attach the 10 page report and send to you as a reply. If you think hatchery fish are good and without detrimental effects to wild fish I would recommend you read this report. :wink:

Here’s a few items I found interesting in the report:

“Very few un-unmarked summer steelhead were ever observed in the Clackamas River, either at the dam or in the fishery, indicating poor reproduction by or survival of the hatchery fish passed upstream”.

“Risk to wild winter steelhead from the hatchery summer steelhead program were assumed to be very low”.

“A decline in Clackamas River wild winter steelhead abundance occurred in the 1990’s (Chilcote 1998) and caused a more careful consideration of factors affecting the population, including the hatchery summer steelhead program. We hypothesized that hatchery summer steelhead were successfully spawning and producing juvenile offspring that largely died before reaching adulthood.
If this were so, hatchery summer adults and their offspring could have been occupying substantial amounts of winter steelhead spawning and rearing habitat and contributing to wild winter steelhead declines through competition”.

“Thus, summer steelhead may be expected tp emerge earlier and occupy choice feeding territories before wild winter steelhead, which may place winter steelhead at a particular disadvantage”.

“To evaluate potential effects of the hatchery summer steelhead program on wild winter steelhead, we had to address two issues: (1) whether hatchery summer steelhead were spawning naturally and producing smolts and (2) whether the summersteelhead produced had any effects on the productivity of wild winter steelhead”.

“We collected out-migrating smolts, identified as naturally produced based on lack of adipose fin clip marks, at the North Fork Dam downstream migrant trap during the peak of steelhead out-migration from 12 to 15 May…”.

“All allozyme analyses for this study was conducted at WDFW Genetics Laboratory”.

“The second model assumed that smolts resulted largely from assortative mating, in which the three parent stocks bred only within their own group and did not hybridize”.

“Contributions to smolts from hatchery winter stock were minor and imprecise according to both models”.

“Admixture analysis, which assumed interbreeding among stocks, indicated that hatchery summer steelhead made the largest contribution to 1995 smolts, followed by wild winter steelhead (Table 3)”.

“However, it was apparent from both models that hatchery summer steelhead contributed at relatively high levels to natural production of smolts in both years”.

DISCUSSION

“We found that hatchery summer steelhead contributed substantially to natural smolt production according to both of our models of stock interbreeding. The previous assumption that hatchery summer steelhead did not spawn successfully had to be dismissed, …”

“summer and winter steelhead maintain reproductive isolation through run and spawn-timing differences and seasonal migration barriers within a drainage”.

“Wild winter steelhead genetic differentiation indicated that this population has not been homogenized by interbreeding with hatchery stocks. These data support the hypothesis that among-stock reproductive isolation is relatively high”.

“This successful allocation of most smolts to a single parent source by mixed-stock MLE analysis gave us confidence that interbreeding among winter and summer steelhead was at very low levels”.

“Whatever interbreeding may have occurred between hatchery and wild fish, it has not diminished the genetic and biological distinctiveness of the wild winter steelhead population, and we do not believe it has had an effect on the productivity of the wild population. The decline in wild winter steelhead abundance was not likely due to diminished reproductive success of a greatly hybridized population”.

“Hatchery summer steelhead were able to produce smolt offspring, but they did so with much less success than wild winter steelhead. In the two years of this study hatchery summer steelhead produced about a third or less as many smolts per parent and about a tenth or less as many adult offspring per parent as wild winter steelhead did”.

“We conclude that even though naturally spawning hatchery steelhead may experience poor reproductive success, they and their juvenile progeny may be abundant enough to occupy substantial portions of spawning and rearing habitat to the detriment of wild fish populations. The capacity of the Clackamas basin to produce steelhead smolts is expected to be finite (Allen 1969). Therefore, the large numbers of introduced summer steelhead would have competed heavily with wild winter steelhead for habitat resources, and this may have contributed to their decline”.

“In the Clackamas basin, smolt offspring of hatchery fish appear to have wasted the production from natural habitat because very few survived to return as adults”.

“Evidence of success must also include returning adult offspring and no depression of wild fish productivity”.
“Supplementation programs should be attuned to basin carrying capacities so that they do not reduce wild fish productivity through competition for resources”.

Geez, maybe I should have typed up the whole report! :grin:
Anyway, there is a lot more to the report including a lot of interesting specifics and all the boring scientific stuff I left out like; (p<0.05), ALAT* and PGK-2; and LDH-B2*, etc, etc.

Dan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,825 Posts
Good Stuff Dan. :smile:

So if what is inplied can be inserted into other different fisheries/ strains of fish. Then couldn't we conclude that the broodstock programs on the north coast are timed wrong?

Let me make a point,

The native spring ( Feb-April)
runs on the coast are much healthier than the native winter runs( late November to mid January). This could be contributed to the heavy fishing pressure for Alsea basin December returning stocks. Another contributer could be winter hatchery steelhead competing with hatchery fish for spawning grounds. Smolts from the hatch fish eat the same feed that nates would.

Instead of placing increased pressure on a semi strong( open to interpratation) March stock when we should be trying to save the remnants of the Winter Natives.

This December and January, Nates made up a fairly large percentage of my catch. Friends with experience enough to tell a mis clip from a nate agreed with this point. Since the winter nates are much closer to extinction, wouldn't it be smart to discontinue the hatchery broodstock program based on late returmimg fish and use the early nates for parents instead?

If the impact is the same, then the actual numbers of potential fish being saved by this thinking is signifigant.

Good reading Dan.

Mark and the black dog. Pet ol yeller for me.

[ 09-10-2003, 08:11 PM: Message edited by: Flatfish ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,534 Posts
I suppose we should start seeing quite a few more wild winter steelhead in the Clackamas over the next few years since its been 4 years since the summer hatchery fish were allowed above the dam.

A Mt Hood fisheries biologist told me there is some evidence that there was a small native summer steelhead run on the Clack. Apparently Rudyard Kipling wrote about catching what sounded like bright summer steelhead at Carver in June at the turn of the last century.

Good reading!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
This is not news.This was a waste of $
The "new " data reguarding "summer" spawning success but poor survival is not news. The Kalama River Gobar creek study revealed all this 20 years ago. Clack summer spawning numbers are no doubt due to the fact that they have the run of good habitat and virtualy no competition on the spawning beds.And that is a real shame. Don't worry kids PGE is getting ready to destroy all mainstem spawning below Marmot Dam in the near future.Then we can all get behind a study to find out why the Sandy has no mainstem spawning below Marmot.PGE has spent a ton o $ measuring the silt from Marmot to the Columbia. Now why do you think they did that ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,038 Posts
Dan, thanks for posting this.

Flatfish, that sounds reasonable, but those early returning "wild" fish may be geneticly compromised from interbreading with the Alsea stock.

They would have to do a genetic comparison. ODFW may not be able to afford that :shrug:

Studies like these can be done on rivers like the Clack, Sandy and Kalama because it's the power companies that foot the bill.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It’s my understanding after talking to a biologist up in Washington that some genetic studies are in the works for Washington wild and hatchery coho. I believe they will be looking at the differences at wild coho in Cedar Creek on the NF Lewis, hatchery strains there and Cowlitz hatchery “late strain coho” and a trib there (could be the Olequa) where wild coho are known to exist. I believe there is also some DNA underway for some of the Oregon coastal coho stocks both hatchery and wild. Those will be some interesting reports. Like you said Dave, these DNA test are very expensive!

Ssteelheadsteve,

As you stated; “The "new” data regarding "summer" spawning success but poor survival is not news”, is true and I believe they referenced that in this report. If I remember correctly the Kalama and Clackamas summer stocks are the same stocks, the Skamania stock, which performed poorly in the Kalama also. But there is a lot more to this report than just the poor performance in producing adults from naturally spawning hatchery summer steelhead but the success they had at spawning and how they in all probability contributed to the decline in Clackamas wild winter steelhead.

So if what is implied can be inserted into other different fisheries/ strains of fish. Then couldn't we conclude that the broodstock programs on the north coast are timed wrong?
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Flatfish,

I used to feel that broodstock hatchery fish were a better way to go but now I have grave concerns about broodstock fish. I believe they are a better quality fish than typical hatchery stocks but are not the same even being first generation hatchery wild fish. I heard a lot of these concerns discussed at the commission meeting I attended and participated in back in March of this year.

If they are indeed somewhat different genetically than the wild fish in the same basins than you are producing a hatchery fish that is going to have the same run-timing as the wild fish and is more likely to interbreed when they have a tendency to stray.

Have we not learned from science and our previous mistakes with hatchery experiments to not interfere with nature? I feel we are taking a big risk and gamble with the available science and unknowns on broodstock fish at this point. I also believe where there is adequate spawning and rearing habitat we should leave these fish alone to do their thing naturally and they will be successful.

Take for example Drift Creek in the Siletz basin. There you have a creek that is naturally producing wild chinook, cutthroat trout, winter steelhead and coho. Most of our coastal rivers are doing a good job at producing wild chinook and coho where hatchery Chinook and coho aren’t present.

To see all these fishermen get all excited in broodstock programs in the Nestucca for example just plain scares or concerns me.

I don’t see any need for rivers like the Nestucca, Nehalem, Tillamook area rivers and the Kalama to have hatchery fish and feel they would produce adequate numbers of wild fish if the hatchery fish were not present. I could be wrong but would be more than willing to give them a fair shot at it.

With all the science available it appears to me that a lot of these on-going hatchery programs are creating some long-term problems for fishermen and managers and have proved themselves a failure. I feel it is time to reverse these hatchery failures as we have done on the Clackamas steelhead and on the Oregon coast with wild coho.

Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
22,175 Posts
Steve,
Marmot Dam isn't on the Clackamas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I have read two reports so far that indicate Wild Hatchery Brood stock smolt survivability is very low for smolts hatched in the hatchery. I will look for the reports and post the URL's when I get home from the Doc today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,910 Posts
I was always under the impression that the Clackamas never had a native run of summer steelhead, and the stock is from Wash.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,841 Posts
Originally posted by freespool:
I was always under the impression that the Clackamas never had a native run of summer steelhead, and the stock is from Wash.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">It does not have a native summer steelhead run. There are only three rivers in the state of Oregon that have a native summer steelhead run: The Rouge, the Umpqua, and the Siletz. All other "native" steelhead are the progeny of spawning hatchery fish.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,825 Posts
Dave,

I understand that the Winter Nates may be tainted. But since most of these fish spawn at about the same time, then wouldn't it be reasonable to conclude the the March Nates are equally tainted as well? And many of the coastal systems that are broodstock already ( Wilson Nestucca, Siletz) have hatchery( or had them til recently) summer steelhead that mix in the spawning with the March Nates too. So the whole genetically tainted thing may not hold water because all steelhead should be affected since they all pretty much spawn at about the same time frame. Right?

Dan,

I am not real big on the Broodstock program. I feel it will only place a huge increase in pressure on a fairly strong run of fish that does not have it now( to an extent). But if there is going to be a program in the name of helping save natives( instead of being in the name of selling tags and filling trips for guides, [which is how I feel about it at times]Hey, ODFW is in the biz of selling tags right?), then why not use the technology on the most depressed run of steelhead in the system. Not the most healthy return that could possibly be affected in a big bad way. Heck, there are already a zilling brat bonkers on the river trying to kill a steelhead in December. Why add March to the list?

Good Thread.

Mark and the dog.

[ 09-11-2003, 08:24 AM: Message edited by: Flatfish ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,494 Posts
Dan

you can right click then choose select all hit the cntrl C then cntrl P to sut and paste pff PDFs.. if I remember right it will select a whole page at a time..

Also Dan if you have a chance could you e-mail me the entire study?
[email protected]

David..

The funding for the Kalama Research Team comes from the Mitchell act not the power companies..
We should all be watching the Kalama Genetics research with great interest. They are now doing studies on wild broodstock summer steelhead in the Upper Kalama. They are allowing equel numbers of wild broodstock and kalama wild stock above the falls and access to all the same habitats. in 2008 we will know a lot more about wild broodstocks and their usefulness than we know now..

[ 09-11-2003, 09:06 AM: Message edited by: rob allen ]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,038 Posts
Rob, You're right, I was wrong about that funding for the Kalama but my point still is that the states aren't paying for those studies.

Sparkleboy, Those are probably the the only three rivers in Western Oregon that had native summer runs but the rivers on the east half of the state (John Day, Deschutes...) also have true native runs.

Flatfish, I guess we'll have to see a genetic study to see about that interbreading.

So the whole genetically tainted thing may not hold water because all steelhead should be affected since they all pretty much spawn at about the same time frame. Right?
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">But the early Alsea strain don't spawn the same time as the wild march fish and apparently (on the Clackamas anyway) the summers spawn a different time than the wild winter run fish.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rob,
Thanks for your input on the copy/paste of a pdf file. Pete emailed me some detailed instructions on the procedure and it worked. If I had only known that yesterday it would have saved me a couple hours of needless typing!
(I’m very slow at typing). Oh well chalk it up as some typing practice. :grin:

I will include them here in case anyone else that doesn’t know how to do it can learn from this.

Dan,
If you click the little letter character symbol in the tool bar of Acrobat,
you can copy the text of a PDF file. I don't remember if it's a "T" or an
"A", but after you click it, you can use your cursor to highlight what you
want to copy and use the normal key combos or mouse clicks to copy and
paste ... just in case you wanted to know.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Turns out it is a “T” that you click on and the rest is the same as if you were in a html format.

I am not real big on the Broodstock program. I feel it will only place a huge increase in pressure on a fairly strong run of fish that does not have it now( to an extent). But if there is going to be a program in the name of helping save natives( instead of being in the name of selling tags and filling trips for guides, [which is how I feel about it at times]Hey, ODFW is in the biz of selling tags right?), then why not use the technology on the most depressed run of steelhead in the system. Not the most healthy return that could possibly be affected in a big bad way. Heck, there are already a zilling brat bonkers on the river trying to kill a steelhead in December. Why add March to the list?
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Flatfish,

That was a little confusing to me but I think I understand your point now. I wouldn’t think you would want to take a chance on jeopardizing any wild fish run being it an early or later component of the run or the depressed or healthy component of the run. Even though a domesticated hatchery stock might not perform as well as the broodstock run (smaller return percentage, etc.), might we be better off with their earlier run and spawn timing as to hopefully eliminate interbreeding? And if the domestic stocks do happen to interbreed it appears from all the science I have read the progeny from domestic stocks don’t seem to be successful therefore not becoming as big a concern as the broodstock fish might be.

Take for example our wild coho. As far as I know and I could be incorrect there isn’t any broodstock coho in their basins. I feel it would be a big mistake to introduce them. The coastal wild coho are making a comeback in a big way now that we have curtailed hatchery coho stocking on the coast. Coho use the small streams to spawn and live in freshwater for approx. 18 months. Do you think we could have the same success with steelhead as we are currently experiencing (and I believe this years return is going to be a big success also) with coho if we eliminated hatchery steelhead one step at a time (as we did with the coho)? If we tried it in a couple rivers the fishermen that wanted to bonk a brat could fish a different river while the wild steelhead are rebuilding in the rivers that eliminated hatchery steelhead. Then maybe in a few years there could be a harvest on wild steelhead in those rivers if they were successful even if the bag limit was one nate steelhead a day (for those that choose to eat one). Seems like a better way to go if it would work.

I believe our current management is working on OCN’s and it is a matter of short time that we will be fishing on them again.

I have read two reports so far that indicate Wild Hatchery Brood stock smolt survivability is very low for smolts hatched in the hatchery. I will look for the reports and post the URL's when I get home from the Doc today.
<font size="2" face="verdana,arial,helvetica">Buzzy,

I thought that the broodstock fish gave you more fish for your buck so to speak compared to domestic stocks with a higher return percentage? I’d be very interested in reading those reports if you can find them.

Wild Chrome,

Of course it takes a little time but yes it will be real interesting to see if the Clackamas River wild steelhead stocks recover and excel now that summer steelhead are not allowed above North Fork reservoir any longer.

Dan

PS> And yes Mark, I did pet ol’ yeller fer ya. :wink:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
3,904 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh by the way Pete, than you so very much for the pointers on the pdf copy/paste trick. That would have saved me many hours in the past and will save me time and frustration in the furture.

Dan :smile:
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top