Re: Steelhead Hatcheries?
Yes Pat, but that is assuming that all hatch fish are bonked and any that make it through are not successfully spawning.
But in reality in a system such as Chehalis I bet about 70% of hatches go through and spawn and according to recent studies such as the Kitimat one, they do so at a success rate very near wild fish.
Also according to the Kitimat study(which is the only one of its kind and is accepted as the definitive study on proper wild broodstocking techniques, not to be confused with lobsided studies using inbred out of basin steelhead that are the norm for anti hatchery papers)
We must always consider the increased survival of young steelhead that are protected from poor habitat and lack of nutrients, and out of whack predation scenarios(sqauw fish, bass....).
Its like tree planting, would it be better to just leave barren wastelands or is it better to plant trees, even if they are raised in nurseries ??.
I will always agree that we must protect the healthy watersheds that exist and not dilute mother natures work.
However as has been proven time and again Steelhead are extremely adaptive creatures and when you massively alter there habitat, why is a very small change in their juvennille life style expected to drastically weaken their race.
According to science fish such as Rainbow trout and Sockeye can be landlocked for many decades and their andromodous genes remain intact and ready for reuse. Look at the Alouette Sockeye it was very simple to revert them back from Kokanee to Sockeye.
Perhaps we should be using Coquitlam lake rainbows as seed for hatchery work on the Coquitlam river, without using any wild Steelhead. Raise them in the hatchery to smolt size and release into the extreme lower river, mark them and see what happens, if you get large cases of residualizing, open them up and discontinue, if some go and then return as Steelhead you've just found how to rebuild a wild fish run with hatchery fish.
Something that apparently cannot be done, but seems to have been done in the past(the Coquitlam River).
What are your thoughts Pat.
As for the Coke- Chehay stuff, that comes right from the guy in charge, no longer removing Coke genes for Chehalis work. They got full brood stock numbers as a nice pod swam into the hatchery all on their own during a fall high water event, down that side channel that according to the uninformed is ruining the river :