“A widespread perception is that salmon from hatcheries adversely affect the genetic diversity and fitness of wild fish. Most of the attack on hatchery salmon is based on comparisons between divergent stocks of fish, which is not a true comparison between wild and hatchery fish from the same stock. There have too few well-designed studies to provide the hard data needed to test this assumption.
All hatchery salmon have descended from naturally spawning fish and possess all the genes found in wild fish. Hatchery fish would only be ‘genetically different’ from wild fish if DNA occurs in hatchery-bred fish that does not occur in wild, naturally spawned fish.
No such DNA segments are known to exist, and there is no genetic mechanism that would result in the creation of DNA that could be found only in artificially propagated hatchery fish.”
-Don F. Amend PhD, Fisheries biologist
Oregon Anglers strongly endorses the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s development of the “Native Fish Conservation Policy and Guidelines” (December 14, 2001 draft):
“Based on state statute, native fish are wild and hatchery fish indigenous to Oregon and not introduced” (ORS 496.171, ORS 541.351).
“Outcome. Successful implementation of this approach will help:
- Restore or maintain healthy species management units.
- Optimize hatchery programs to enhance fisheries, mitigate for lost or reduced natural production, and conserve species at risk of extinction, consistent with acceptable risks to native fish conservation.
- Facilitate de-listing under state and federal endangered species laws.
- Increase local involvement in fish conservation programs.
- Strengthen local and state influence on federal management of fish, water and land.
- Increase management flexibility and opportunities for resource use resulting from healthy native fish communities.
- Provide a scientific basis for conservation.
- Establish a clear role for hatchery fish.
Oregon’s Jewel: the Fall Creek Research Hatchery
This facility can help us put the arguments behind regarding the use of mitigation negatively affecting wild fish.