Comments and thoughts on Hatchery & Wild documentaries

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    • #425

      I’m eager to read your thoughts and comments to the documentaries while I’m in Oregon.

    • #428

      1.) The Nature documentary, “Salmon: Running the Gauntlet” opened my eyes to the even greater of level of ecosystem alteration than I was aware of present in the Columbia watershed. The sequence describing the efforts at reducing predation on both outgoing smolts and returning adults was particularly eyebrow-furrowing. The law of unintended consequences is hard at work here.

      2.) On the “Hatchery and Wild documentary, I was particularly intrigued by the comments from the biologist that described research results that did not support the hatchery-fish-depress-fitness hypothesis.

      While I have not had time to dig in to the details of the results, I can’t help but notice several immediate things:

      1.) The results were published in the Journal of Molecular Ecology. While the journal is a professional peer-reviewed publication, I think it is interesting that the article was not published in a journal more directly targeted towards fisheries management.

      2.) The study was funded by the Bonneville Power administration, which provides mitigation funds to address the effect of hydroelectric generation.

      3.) All of the authors are associated with institutions that provide fish culture and enhancement programs.

      I’m not saying that objective results can’t be generated in such a situation, but these are all noteworthy things in my mind.

      While this documentary struck me as both thorough and nuanced, I remain unconvinced that fishermen of all stripes really care enough to influence their economic decisions whether a fish is hatchery or wild. Abundance either way is deciding outcome for larger society.

      The encouragement to sign a petition at the end ties together loose ends left throughout the film in to a cohesive message about the point of view being conveyed. With abundances in the PNW so far away from their historical levels, it seems that there is an even more powerful sentiment than in Alaska that the perfectly-engineered and managed enhancement program will ultimately be the savior of the region.

    • #430

      Watching these documentaries, it is clear there are many conflicting views about salmon hatcheries in the PNW. Personally, my first job in fisheries was on the Columbia River, essentially monitoring fish ladder passage for ESA listed salmonids, sturgeon, and lamprey. My family has a history in the commercial fisheries throughout the Pacific, and my grandfather has been involved in politics involving Columbia River gill netting allocations, water quality and sewage in the Seattle region. Living in the PNW for 20 years, it is impossible to ignore the influence of overdevelopment, logging, and damming. As a preschooler, we were taken on trips to see the rotting spawn out of Chinooks from the Puyallup Fish Hatchery. I’ve been on hikes and seen hatchery humpies attempting to spawn in alpine streams. My dad made a living off of harvesting hatchery pinks and chums throughout SE AK.
      Because of these experiences, it is difficult for me to have a subjective opinion of the good/bad of hatchery salmon. I have always been amazed by the difference in opinion between the sport fishing and commercial communities, farmers and weekend warriors, biologists and politicians.
      “Hatchery and Wild’ takes the pro-hatchery, helping the resource perspective, while the Nature documentary clearly lies out the history and admits the current state of PNW salmon populations.

      1. How can geographically close but culturally different communities in a single region have such conflicting opinions on hatchery salmon? Is everyone privy to all information, or are we all biased?
      2. Disregarding personal opinion, genetic issues, and allocation politics, are hatchery fish helping or hindering wild salmon? Without these parameters, how do we answer this question? Should this issue be regulated by science or popular demand?
      3. Simply because a hatchery can sponsor a 10-12 month run/year salmon run, should it?


      Celilo Falls

      How do you think the BPA sponsoring a paper influences the data? Is studying the reproductive ability of hatchery adults enough to determine their influence on fitness?

      • #436

        Thanks for sharing the website Madeline.

        I don’t see an issue as far as scientific integrity goes with BPA sponsoring a research project whose results do not support the idea that hatcheries depress fitness of wild populations. The data will show whatever it shows. It is always worth noting where funding for research comes from though. For example, imagine if were to organize all published studies regarding effects of hatcheries from the last 50 years in to three categories 1.) Studies where researchers received funding from organizations that support commercial and sport hatcheries, and 2.) Where researchers did not receive support from organizations associated with hatcheries, and 3.) Studies where researchers received funding from organizations that have advocated for hatchery reforms and/or reductions.

        Does one group or the other consistently skew towards a certain type of result? I would be curious to know…

    • #431

      (I tried posting another interesting link that ties back to the BPA, but the forum is being weird…)

    • #432

      First off I would like to say Paul Lumley with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission is a good friend of my Aunt and I have met his significant other and hope to meet him soon.
      I was taken aback by the human intervention that has been put in place for bad environmental decisions & human impact on the river and salmon. For example paying people for predator control, carcass release in the rivers, and the dams. I was somewhat appalled by the egg in bags reproduction system but I thought the egg plantation in the river was a good idea but I would like to more about the results.

    • #434

      I found the two videos to be interesting because they argued two totally different perspectives in two totally different ways. The first video was visually appealing, more friendly and more personal. The second video seemed to be a bit more “fearful” for a lack of a better word; the video used words to emphasize the artificiality of the process.

      What I would like to figure out is how the two sides can work together to come up with a comprehensive management plan that encourages wild spawning with hatchery production. I am not persuaded that only one method works in the climate we face with habitat degradation, warming waters, fishing etc.

      While watching the videos it also struck me that people kept blaming politicians or decision makers who had no stake in the local effects of the salmon. I think its important to meet people where they live- that is, to know their perspectives, how they view the interaction between wild and hatchery. I also kind of hate the idea of big eco-interest groups swooping in on local practices. While I understand the heart is in the right place, its kind of hard to know how people interact with the salmon or the fishery without experiencing it yourself.

      Just some initial thoughts.

    • #438
      Alix Connor

      During the part where they were discussing raising hatchery fish in an effort for bringing wild salmon populations back, it was mentioned that there may be economic and political opposition. Economic difficulty is obvious, but it made me wonder what groups would be opposed to these hatcheries and what their reasoning would be.

      I agree with Brooke on the egg plantation, I’ve never heard of it before and it definitely looked intriguing to me. I’d like to know how commonly this technique is done and what the research looks like.

      I also would like to see more information about methods of getting salmon over dams. Short of destroying the dams themselves, there seem to be no solutions that still lack a negative impact on salmon.

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