Summary from our conversation with Joe Smith (the fish prophet)

  1. Alien species…also known as exotic, invasive, non-native, non-indigenous
  2. Predators can be keystone species and have large ecosystem impacts through interactions. For examples, predators can lead to having more diverse species assemblages by opening up space, etc…
  3.  The Red Queen Hypothesis: an evolutionary arms race…where predator and prey are constantly co-evolving (e.g. bat and sonar-jamming moths)
  4. Sacramento/San Jaquin so important socially as it supplies water for agriculture and major population centers in cities such as LA, San Diego, Fresno, etc… Area where over 50% of all produce grown in CA. Water is political!
  5. California gripped in drought. Water withdrawls, land-use change all interact with climate change.
  6. Extremely low survival of smolt emigration (0-1%) through the delta and past the Golden Gate bridge
  7. It is not clear what proportion of juvenile mortality can be attributed to predation.  Main bad guys, stripped bass, largemouth bass, and two species of catfish (white and channel).
  8. Stripped bass move far more than any other predator (largemouth most sedentary and catfish intermediate in movement)
  9. Highest proportion of stomachs with Chinook in stomachs was channel catfish…a bit of a surprising result given the expectation that stripped bass were presumed to be the top predator. However…the the abundance of stripped bass is much higher so can have a more impact on the total salmon consumed
  10. The faster the water moves the higher change of predation…at least as recorded from the Predation Event Recorders
  11. The native predator community would have looked dramatically different prior to modification to the Sac Delta

Summary with Alex Wertheimer

  1. 40 years of experience working with Alaska salmon issues
  2. Presentation is put together in response to concerns from seafood certification groups regarding hatchery interactions
  3. Certification a marketing tool to label seafood ‘sustainable’; Prince William Sound not certified due to concern about enhancement
  4. Data from ADFG, management reports, otolith tagging data
  5. In recent years, 40% of pink harvests are from hatcheries and 65% of chum from hatcheries
  6. First hatcheries in Alaska started in the late 1890s to mitigate for impact on harvest…thought to have done little to address the underlying problem of overharvest
  7. FRED division of ADFG built on success of Japenese “ocean ranching” to invest in Alaska hatchery framework
  8. Number of hatcheries peak in the mid 1980s at about 45, and has settled to about 30, most being Private non Profit hatchery operation
  9. Alaska hatchery programs have had benefit of learning form Pacific NW experiences…a key lesson being to evaluate hatchery production  not just number of fish stocked or spawned
  10. Many safe guards in terms of genetic policies, site identification of hatcheries, and locations of releases to try and minimize impact on wild populations
  11. Purpose of Alaska hatcheries not intended to mitigate anything (e.g. habitat) but rather to enhance fisheries harvest
  12. Anadromous Stream Act affords special protection to anadromous habitat (downside is that waters have to be documented as anadromous before being protected under this legislation)
  13. Sustainability of natural resources for optimum use is a mandate of Alaska State Constitution
  14. Pinks and chum make up over 90% of hatchery returns/harvests in Alaska- a result of their short life history in freshwater
  15. Frequency of obtaining escapements for pink salmon more common in the period of hatchery production with some caveats. What are some of those major caveats?
  16. Summer chum salmon in SE AK have also met consistently escapement goals during hatchery era…similar caveats from PWS apply
  17. Question is not whether there is any impact of hatchery stocks on wild fish but rather are the benefits of hatchery enhancement consistent with certification criteria and goals?
  18. Conclusions that hatchery production has resulted in increases in commercial harvest of 6-10 times over pre-hatchery averages and ultimately are consistent with pre-cautionary principle

Summary of conversation with Jeff Milton

  1. People are passionate and emotional about salmon
  2. Alaska still has lots of opportunities for salmon persistence if we don’t mess it up!
  3. Over 2 billion fish released in Alaska each year!
  4. Salmon are the ultimate ‘investors’ by spreading risk over life histories and stocks
  5. Integrated hatchery programs spawn fish using wild broodstock and therefore reduce the potential for domestication to evolve
  6. Jeff oversees the sport fish hatcheries and there is a separate PNP hatchery coordinator
  7. Ocean carrying capacity potentially being pushed to the limit by pink and chum salmon production
  8. Alaska is more nimble than other locales because ADFG has management authority and can alter stocking plans immediately if deemed necessary
  9. Currently there is limited monitoring to assess the on impacts of hatchery fish on wild populations in Alaska

Summary from conversation with Keith Criddle on Salmonomics

  1. Economics- how society allocates scarce resources to produce goods and services and how society allocates those goods and services
  2. Fish management that neglects economics is unlikely to be sustainable
  3. Sustainable benefits- Use (consumptive, nonconsumptive), Option (value of reserving a resource for future use), Intrinsic value
  4. Alaska accounts for approx. 50% of US fish production
  5. At the global scale, Alaska a small producer in capture fisheries (1% of seafood products)
  6. By value, Pacific salmon are really important, but by weight (landing) less important
  7. Credence attributes (e.g. wild salmon vs. hatchery salmon)
  8. Salmon a ‘social ecological system’ .  Ecosystem interacting with system of laws and economies
  9. Bulk of catch of Pacific salmon are pink and chum salmon, and large volume of sockeye salmon in AK catch
  10. In world markets, sockeye salmon prices (value) very different from pink and chum salmon. Bulk of global catch of high value salmon comes from US (70%)
  11. While Alaska dominates supply of high-value salmon catch, revenues have declined (about .035 cents per year)
  12. Why? Salmon aquaculture on the rise! Norway and Chile top dog aquaculture producers
  13. Prices for aquaculture produced fish declining
  14. Approximately 5 billion hatchery fish released into North Pacific each year
  15. In some years hatchery produced fish account for 30% in some years
  16. World salmon production has increased 7 times in 40 years. For high value species 11 times as much production.
  17. Alaska has gone from producing 50-70% of world supply to producing less than 7%! Our production has not markedly changed, but aquaculture has exploded
  18. US salmon consumption has increased more than 6 times since 1980…because we have been eating more Atlantic salmon from Chile and Canada
  19. Alaska has gone from supplying 100% of demand to 20%!
  20.  Alaska used to be 90% of imports to Japan to less than 20%!
  21. The competition for Alaska salmon on the market place are contained aquaculture
  22. Feed costs for aquaculture are declining 1.4% per year
  23. Small changes in global production can have large impacts on total Alaska salmon value
  24. Concern about the power of canneries led to the state of Alaska to ban fish traps
  25. Rush of new entrants to fisheries led to congestion on the fishing grounds led to passage of limited entry law in 1972
  26. Life was good for AK prices through mid 1980s and by 1990s supply of salmon from other countries
  27. Alaska has been largely a fishery success yet failed to avoid the race for fish and so there is lots of economic inefficiencies and leaves Alaska noncompetitive on global market

Summary of conversation with Rich Brenner

  1. Five current salmon hatcheries in operation in Prince William Sound (PWS)
  2. Approximately 650 million pink salmon released each year. Combined with chum salmon and sockeye salmon nearly 3/4 billion total releases
  3. What is a stray? A fish that is found dead (of natural causes) on the spawning grounds of a wild population
  4. Straying concerns: 1) introgression (sharing of genes among populations), competition (limited spawning area, egg retention), management (confounds escapement estimates)
  5. SEC.01, Chapter 111, SLA, 1974 “the hatchery program shall be operated without adversely affecting natural stocks of fish”
  6. Pink salmon straying studies initiate in 1991 in response to oil-spill responses, pike up in 1997-1999, 2008-2010, 2013-on-going
  7. Strays assessed by thermal marking of otoliths. 100% of PWS released fish are marked
  8. Initial straying studies suggested wide spread high straying rates (high proportions of hatchery fish on the spawning grounds)
  9. Stray rates decline quickly with increasing distance from release hatchery, and declines with increasing population size (small populations have high proportions of strays)
  10. For chum salmon, the proportion of strays declined throughout the spawning season while pink salmon strays increased (likely reflects brood stock life history. Chum are early returning stocks, and pinks are late returning stocks)
  11. Limited data for sockeye salmon, but straying proportions could be high for some sample locations
  12. Remaining conundrum…to reduce amount of straying, managers might aim to catch as many hatchery-produced fish as possible (given that they can sustain a high exploitation rate), however, by doing so wild fish that co-mingle with hatchery fish can be caught incidentally and over exploited.

493 Fish UX1 (200, 400, 600)