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Salmon of the West
What is a salmon?
Why are salmon in trouble?
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Why are salmon in trouble? - Hatchery Practices

Hatchery practices late 1800's Salmon hatcheries were originally built to replace runs of salmon whose natural habitats were either lost behind impassable dams or disturbed to the point that they could not sustain natural production. Hatchery programs were designed to replace lost fisheries. As a result, hatcheries produced large numbers of juvenile salmon for release without fully understanding how they would compete with wild salmon for food and habitat.

Hatchery practices 1950's

 

As hatchery and wild fish stocks mixed together, larger hatchery populations masked declines in wild fish populations, resulting in delayed changes in management practices to protect wild fish.

 

Hatchery practices 2004

 

Modern hatchery and fishery management programs recognize these problems and are designed to minimize these impacts. Today, hatchery roles and responsibilities have broadened beyond producing fish for sport, tribal and commercial harvest to ensuring that their programs are compatible with conserving wild and naturally spawning fish. We are creating new roles for hatcheries that include conserving and protecting genetic reserves of unique stocks of fish, developing hatchery stocks that more closely imitate wild stocks in their genetics and behavior and using appropriate stocks in rebuilding runs of salmon to spawn in the wild.

 

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