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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
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    1,054

    Default Re: Interesting Steelhead Debate - Hatchery vs Hatchery Brood stock vs Wild

    As always is the case it has more to do with habitat degradation than anything else. One of my favorite Oregon coastal rivers (Siletz) is a prime example. The water shed had very healthy Chinook, Coho, summer and Winter steelhead runs along with coastal cutthroat fishing. It is now a shadow of itself. The Siletz in unique in that it is one of the very few coastal rivers with a Wild Summer Steelhead run. A run that is now down to fewer than 100 fish per year and some those fish are spawning with the hatchery summer run fish that make it past the fish traps that are supposed to keep the two gene pools separate.

    Unfortunately much of the water shed is privately owned. As a result it holds the distinction of being the most deforested watersheds in Oregon. From 2000 to 2015 42% of the watershed was clear cut and I read another statics that said over 90% of the watershed has been clear cut in the last 100 years. Can you imagine the amount of spawning bed destroying silt coming out of those clear cuts. The amount of herbicide being flushed into the river?

    To top it off as recently as 10 years ago there was debate about building a new dam on the south fork of the river to supply drinking water to the State Capitol. The south fork is the preferred spawning grounds of the once great Chinook run.

    It shouldn't be a hatchery or wild discussion at all. There should be a habitat or development debate because that's where the real problem is.
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Iowa, WY roots
    Posts
    169

    Default Re: Interesting Steelhead Debate - Hatchery vs Hatchery Brood stock vs Wild

    Quote Originally Posted by dillon View Post
    As far as I know, the sole purpose of hatcheries is to produce fish for harvest and have nothing to do with increasing wild fish populations.
    So I'm going to be that guy... I am not familiar with the practices for hatchery raised, stocking, etc. of Steelhead. Steelhead hatcheries might be to what you refer with this statement.

    In iowa they have started using the following process with great success for the remaining strain of native Iowa brook trout, South Pine Creek Brook Trout.

    "Brook trout, Iowa’s only native trout, give up their eggs in late October and early November. Eggs are taken streamside from wild South Pine Creek Brook Trout, fertilized and taken back to the Manchester Fish Hatchery to be raised and stocked as 2-inch fingerlings in June. "

    Seems to me this is to increase populations of native wild populations and it has been hugely successful. There are now several streams that have wild reproduction of the native strain. The traditional method was not very successful.

    Is this like comparing apples and oranges or could a similar process be done with Steelhead?

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon
    Posts
    1,722

    Default Re: Interesting Steelhead Debate - Hatchery vs Hatchery Brood stock vs Wild

    Quote Originally Posted by nawagner View Post
    So I'm going to be that guy... I am not familiar with the practices for hatchery raised, stocking, etc. of Steelhead. Steelhead hatcheries might be to what you refer with this statement.

    In iowa they have started using the following process with great success for the remaining strain of native Iowa brook trout, South Pine Creek Brook Trout.

    "Brook trout, Iowa’s only native trout, give up their eggs in late October and early November. Eggs are taken streamside from wild South Pine Creek Brook Trout, fertilized and taken back to the Manchester Fish Hatchery to be raised and stocked as 2-inch fingerlings in June. "

    Seems to me this is to increase populations of native wild populations and it has been hugely successful. There are now several streams that have wild reproduction of the native strain. The traditional method was not very successful.

    Is this like comparing apples and oranges or could a similar process be done with Steelhead?
    Yes, I was referring to PNW steelhead the topic of this thread. See my last post about stocking steelhead fry. The whole issue with wild steelhead is habitat. Restore the habitat and they will come. A case in point is the Elwah river in Washington state. A dam with no fish ladders blocked access to miles of pristine spawning habitat. The dam was removed and wild fish strayed into the upper river and recolonized it. I’m not totally against hatcheries. They have their place as you mention and provide catch and keep opportunities for steelheaders. However, I am a bit concerned about taking wild steelhead out of the river and turning them into hatchery fish. That’s not to say I’m totally against the PNW broodstock program if done properly. But I’d match rather see improved timber harvest practices. The time has come as steelhead are on the brink. They won’t be around much longer if things don’t change...
    Last edited by dillon; 12-17-2019 at 12:28 PM.

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