Saturday, February 23, 2013

Can hatcheries help?

We've heard plenty about the poor Chinook salmon returns to some parts of Alaska in recent years.

One possible fix is to supplement wild runs with hatchery fish.

Here's a new report from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that examines the idea. Recommendations are on page 14.


Anonymous said...

That's rich.

Anonymous said...

The report gives an estimated cost of $.50 to $.75 to produce each smolt and an average survival of 1.7% statewide for hatchery chinooks. That puts the cost of each adult fish at $29 to $44. Seems kind of steep.

I wonder if trawl deckhands ever count discards that way? $30, $60, $90, and on and on.

Anonymous said...

The problem with hatcheries is they become entrenched. It gets to the point where the problems of wild salmon are ignored as long as there are hatchery fish to catch. One only needs to look at Washington and Oregon and Alaska's own hatchery systems. Hatcheries in many cases compound the problems of wild fish. And if the problem is survival on the high seas, more fish will just compound the problem. Forget hatcheries and deal with proper management of wild stocks.

Anonymous said...

For a lot of us, the problem with wild fish is that there aren't any. If anybody knows anything about the proper management of wild stocks, why have they kept quiet about it all of these years?

One only needs to look at Washington and Oregon to mislead people about the issue. The situations are not even close to comparable.

"If the problem is survival on the high seas, more fish will just compound the problem." The last clause is dependent upon the veracity of the first one. High seas competition is nothing more than speculation.

Anonymous said...

I bet that they did'nt get a 1.7% return last year. None of the hatcheries in southeast got a very good return. Hidden Falls got 48% of their forecast.

Anonymous said...

$65 million worth of SE hatchery salmon were harvested in SE Alaska by the common property commercial fisheries in 2012, a record value.

Eric Jordan

Anonymous said...

We are talking about king salmon Eric.

Anonymous said...

I would like to see a few more studies on how hatchery fish impact herring ,cod ,rockfish stocks ect.

Anonymous said...

The blogger above wants "to see a few more studies" then after those studies are done, "a few more studies" will have to be done to study the study results.

Hogwash I say - "studies" stall actually doing something to prevent hitting ground zero where it's harder to bring stocks back.

Salmon is by far a preferred choice compared to "herring, cod, rockfish stocks". There has been enough scientific observation by both proffessionals, amateurs, and, salmon users to know that if the humans don't intervene as soon as possible, the Alaska Wild King Salmon will end up on the Endangered List and from there to the Extinct List.

Two steps away from Extinction is all there is especially since there are so many subjective obstacles between the spawning grounds and the oceans where the salmon go to grow.

Push the BSers aside and get some real scientists involved before it's too late!

Anonymous said...

The first blogger refers to the vandalism done to the Hobson Creek hatchery north of Nome.

I understand that the issue has not been resolved to date.

I know the 'ma' of the mom and pop operators of the Hobson Creek hatchery, and she told me that she hasn't felt safe at the hatchery since the incident. She feels victimized by the people representing the state who are suppose to work for her best interests.

The irony of the Hobson Creek hatchery break-in is that the Nome area rivers have not produced adequate salmon returns for 30 years even though the managers report record runs year after year.

Anonymous said...

The real focus is on Cook Inlet and MAYBE the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers. Western Alaska is on the back burner especially the Norton Sound area where NSEDC, a CDQ program rules the salmon political arena. The Norton Sound appears to be the sacrificial region because the "experimental" stage has been going on for at least 20 years.

I read on page 14 of the state paper; #4 that Fish and Game is "utilizing partnerships with.... the Karluk tribe and regional native corporations." and that's the trend they started in the Norton Sound where they require a certain private citizen to get permission from Natives to be involved in salmon enhancement projects. Talk about stacking up opposition instead of the real issue of bringing back the salmon before they are lost forever.

Anonymous said...

To the blogger above, that's called manipulation of the ignorant and illiterate. Give them authority based on Race and it'll keep the focus away from the salmon returns getting weaker and weaker while the state focuses it's time and energy on the more important population and most likely more educated people of Cook Inlet!

Educated people know how to work together in spite of personal differences. It's a proven fact in productive communities.

Oppression in the form of manipulation is a dumb man game.

Anonymous said...

Yes, hatcheries can help. Just get those anti-enhancement greenies out of the department. They like boyscout experiments because they are fun. It's not fun for the people who can't live off salmon like they use to.

Anonymous said...

Yup I say, PTL for Cook Inlet not getting their traditional numbers of King Salmon returning to spawn otherwise ADF&G would continue their "sentinel" role as highly paid salmon managers. Keep an eye on the salmon returning and if the numbers get low, change the escapement numbers to coordinate with the actual numbers and those dumb people living near the rivers won't know the difference because they are too busy surviving day by day and besides that, they could all live on welfare as far as the working people are concerned because they don't have the money anyway to gear up to catch salmon except one at a time with a cheap $15 rod and reel unit and besides that, that'll get them off the couch to get a few salmon to dry and maybe a salmon or two in the freezer for when the family comes over to enjoy the bounty of the river.

It smells like a scam, it looks like a scam so therefore it must be a scam.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see that Norton Sound is mentioned in the ADF&G plan where salmon shortages have been recorded for at least 30 years but any work to correct the problem is still in the more "Studies and Experimental Project Status". This is a blantant case of studying salmon right to extinction.

Yes, Norton Sound is being dominated by the pollock trawl fishery through the CDQ program and if you read between the lines, the management is being given to the CDQ program on a silver platter because it is noted that the CDQ program, which is NSEDC, is considering a hatchery "that might serve as a support for Chinook salmon projects". Except the words "might serve" is a stalling wait and see if they can get their act together before the King Salmon all disappears like the little run on Pilgrim River north of Nome did recently but they won't shut down the northwestern most sockeye salmon run because it would cause too much political outrage and it'll show that the state let the Native people of Brevig Mission and Teller down because the sockeye run has been their traditional bread and butter resource for hundreds of years but nevermind, those people can eat tuna and sardines and crackers and noodles bought by their welfare checks because it's too political and the managers are too afraid of the Natives so they are being mislead by numbers of invisible red salmon swimming in the middle of the channel of Grantley Harbor over there at Teller to go up to Salmon Lake north of Nome to spawn.

It's hard to understand the reasoning behind the salmon politics of the Norton Sound.

Anonymous said...

ADF&G's new salmon management buzz word is "sentinel" and not just anybody qualifies to be that "watchdog" because it's a complicated job and only certain people can act like a "sentinel" because some people can smell a rat when it's thrown out in the form of scientific reasoning.

Are these salmon sentinels going to be made up of Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists?

New Role for ADF&G:

A salmon sentinel

watching the rivers

to see how many

salmon return to spawn

while ignoring the fact

that the salmon are

being killed off in the sea

by the pollock trawl fishery

silent salmon sentinels

stalling for more time

waiting to see if the salmon

will rebound on their own

silent salmon sentinels

Anonymous said...

The CDQ trawlers slaughter untold numbers of bottom hugging kings (their natural foraging territory). This is ignored for the gain of tens of millions of dollars of wealth per year, protected through private political deals benefitting very few at obscene levels.

AND, the remaining returns of depleted salmon are overharvested with no concern to optimum, or even minimum, escapment goals. This is being done under the guise and ignorance of subsistence abuses. Anyone who has been there at return time knows this as FACT. The locals are concerned about eating this year, next year will have to take care of itself. They only want help from outside when it comes in the form of dollars.

Did I miss any of the obvious and few facts? The rest is basically a mud puddle of confusing busy talks.

Anonymous said...

It is all about money alright. No care whatsoever to get any positive results for the money spent either. We have to start demanding accountability especially when the money is suppose to help our natural resources and the people those resources belong to.

Anonymous said...

I think if tighter controls on offshore draggers were instituted that would help, also if they could gather a brood stock and use this to increase the number of fry released in the natural spawing habitat, I think this would be better than to have them return to hatcheries.
Another thing that might help is to make it illegal to do catch and release in chinnook salmon spawning areas. Catch and release actually has a high mortality rate

Anonymous said...

Ship Creek in Anchorage is a good example of what can be done with hatcheries. Get what you need for brood stock and the rest can be harvested by the users. One doesn't need to go overboard to provide food for the people.

Anonymous said...

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.

Anonymous said...

to the poster of 12:45 you must be of the territorial sportsmen persuasion!blame the subsistence user,after all most of them are village people and its easy to pick on them ron sommerville is the role model for these tactics.the truth of the matter is, when they changed subsistence from native only to rural and non rural it perverted the whole idea of subsistence!it should have read if you are non native living in a village with a poverty level of income you should qualify for subsistence!this will give alaskas resources to people who really need it for sustinence.and by the way you territorial boys should be concerned with the canadian residents comeing across the border and subsisting on our kings on the chilkat every spring!

Anonymous said...

It's a Faustian bargain that has nurtured this anadromous famine. The poorest were offered wealth in exchange for their souls. Trawl wealth? Yes, in a few privileged offices. But now, catching a salmon for elders, or smoking a fish to trade is criminal. While squandering the same fish in an industrial fishery in exchange for politicians subsistence, is somehow considered worthy of merit. Give the Devil his due. This obscene perversion of "management" proves his existence.

Anonymous said...

The Pope arrives in heaven, where St. Peter awaites him. St. Peter asks who he is.

The Pope: "I am the pope."

St. Peter: "Who? There's no such name in my book."

The Pope: "I'm the representative of God on Earth."

St.Peter: "Does God have a representative? He didn't tell me ..."

The Pope: "But I am the leader of the Catholic Church ..."

St. Peter: "The Catholic church ... Never heard of it ... Wait, I'll check with the boss."

St. Peter walks away through Heaven's Gate to talk with God.

St. Peter: "There's a dude standing outside who claims he's your representative on earth."

God: "I don't have a representative on earth, not that I know of ... Wait, I'll ask Jesus." (yells for Jesus)

Jesus: "Yes father, what's up?"

God and St. Peter explain the situation.

Jesus: "Wait, I'll go outside and have a little chat with that fellow."

Ten minutes pass and Jesus reenters the room laughing out loud. After a few minutes St. Peter asks Jesus why he's laughing.

Jesus: "Remember that fishing club I've started 2000 years ago? It still exists!"

Anonymous said...

when does a hatchery fish become a native fish?

Anonymous said...

A hatchery fish can never become a native fish because they die after they spawn. It's their spawned brood that will become native when they return to their river to continue the cycle.

All this hype of hatchery vs wild is about ignorance. A fish is a fish is a fish.

Anonymous said...

Here is another view - a hatchery fish is a native fish because if it weren't for the egg stock from the native fish, there wouldn't be hatchery fish.

It's amazing what a thinking human can come up with in terms of arguing a case against ignorance!

Anonymous said...

Except the "fishing club that J started" don't turn one fish into hundreds. It's the other way around, they turn millions of pounds of fish into a few fish left to continue the cycle.

Anonymous said...

It costs money to make this work, who will pay for the reintroduction or stock augmentation? License fees for all users and maybe a tax on sports related items. The cost analysis shouldn't be considered for just the first year of returns but of the many years to come. You don't plan augmentation on a yearly basis with the same stock, you vary the age class and the brood stock. Again, extremely expensive but definately doable. Governor Parnell outta refigure his tax program break for the wealthy oil industry and create more abundance for one resource from another. I will buy the revenue loss if this Governor will really care about what most people in the State care about, renewable, abundant, resource sustainability.

Anonymous said...

A fish is a fish is a fish.

It is that type of thinking that led the state to adopt a management policy on hatchery fish in Alaska.

Guess what - in the policy wild stock and hatchery fish are not considered to be the same.

Golly gee whiz Beav, can you believe that? I guess a fish isn't a fish when it comes to wild and hatchery fish.

Kinda like how some people believe there is a difference between wild salmon and aquaculture salmon.

Anonymous said...

A fish is a fish is a fish. Those nurtured in a hatchery came from the brood of the wild stock. It's called giving nature a helping hand in times of wash-outs; over predation; and, FREEZE in the northern small rivers and creeks. Watch this idea gets copied in a heart and then becomes a part of a dumb man's study!

Alaska Salmon Politics

Bs passed on as the truth

Alaska Salmon Politics

Names are on papers

It's your legacy

Not mine!

Anonymous said...

If a fish is a fish, a hatchery a hatchery, then Aqua Advantage is also a Atlantic salmon?

You can't have it both ways?

"I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term of Natural Selection....With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.

The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature. The surgeon may harden himself whilst performing an operation, for he knows that he is acting for the good of his patient; but if we were intentionally to neglect the weak and helpless, it could only be for a contingent benefit, with a certain and great present evil. Hence we must bear without complaining the undoubtedly bad effects of the weak surviving and propagating their kind; but there appears to be at least one check in steady action, namely the weaker and inferior members of society not marrying so freely as the sound; and this check might be indefinitely increased, though this is more to be hoped for than expected, by the weak in body or mind refraining from marriage.”
― Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man

Anonymous said...

Charles Darwin is probably rolling in his grave right now. Liars, thieves, and cheaters leading the ignoramuses by the noses is not what a healthy society needs. Too destructive.

Anonymous said...

"....only want help from outside when it comes in the form of dollars." The Western Alaska Community Development Quota (CDQs) is that help from outside and it's loaded with dollars.

They are involved in salmon management or realistically, the prevention of enhancement so that their pollock ships don't catch any more salmon to be counted against them as Bycatch. Their access to millions of unchecked public dollars could destroy anyones career before one can blink an eye with their gangster like tactics and crooked ways. Our state managers are afraid to cross them. They love their jobs more than they do the people they are working for.

Its easy to read if you've been paying attention to what's been happening in Western Alaska since the CDQs showed up. They were intended to fix the problem which is getting bigger and bigger as the years go by.

Unchecked millions in the hands of a handful of men and the agency boys are acting as if they don't know what's going on. It's obvious.

Anonymous said...

Salmon management in the Norton Sound is indeed "confusing busy talks". Read the latest copy of "The Nome Nugget" at It's there in print and it's loud and clear.

Except the busy talks are making sure a hundreds year old culture and tradition of living off the salmon is being destroyed right under our noses.

Anonymous said...

The people "busy" talking are holding their own flaws locked in their closets while they hash out old personal opinions based on some old agency man's feelings on his personal inadequacies while abusing his authority to defame an innocent man. Trash talk as if they live pristine lives. Trash talk because dumb men talk about others instead of raising above the BS and actually doing something about the problems their community faces. Gutless trash talking people stalling for control. It's shameful. Talking trash as if it's the truth.

In the meantime the busy talk is trashing a hundreds year old culture of living off the salmon.

Anonymous said...

Double standards
a region
Double standards
leaves the
with an
uncertain destiny
Double standards
for salmon projects
Double standards
takes fairness
out of the
playing field.

Anonymous said...

Pebble Mine wants to see hatcheries in Bristol Bay, this is how they plan on replacing the fish they destroy........No Thanks Pebble

Anonymous said...

Political Salmon Sacrifice

Western Alaska

Double Standards based on Race

Civil Rights are being abused

BS passed on as Science

All for a half of million dollars

Peoples money

No say in how it's spent

Political Salmon Sacrifice

Anonymous said...

Not only should we be saying "No Thanks" to Pebble, we should be directing President Obama and Congress to demand that ALL of the Alaska wild salmon species be given strict priority and protection to guarentee survival.

They should also review the CDQ program of Western Alaska this year, 2013, and reinstate regulations and oversight to bring accountability and transparency to a social welfare program that worth millions. No where else in the United States would this type of program be permitted. Paying people to bully the poor to keep silent.

And the "Grandmothers are crying" because they cannot eat good traditional food. Gone in a lifetime their culture and tradition. It's no wonder they are crying. No worth, no pride, JUST poor.

Anonymous said...

Wild, natural salmon, are just that! The strong survive.

Hatchery salmon are fed artificially, and administered chemicals, anti-biotics, and various other drugs in order to deter weaknesses. This is done from the day the eggs are incubated.

Sorry, there is a difference.

Wild salmon are better, they prove that they are from a sustainable salmon management system.

I've personally done both, for decades, wild is better.

p.s. Farmed salmon is pink dung.

Anonymous said...

What "sustainable salmon management system" are you talking about.

If there isn't much "wild" salmon for the demand, then what is a poor person suppose to do? Sit on the bank and watch a handful of commercial fishermen make expenses?

Anonymous said...

Here is a bench
for you
You could watch me
from the beach
As I pull in salmon
for 50 cents a pound
Maybe I'll being one
home for dinner
If your lucky
you can boil the
head and share it
with Grandpa

Anonymous said...


Please bring


One Dog Salmon


I can dry

It for

My Friend

in Nome

Before She Dies

She misses

Dried Dog Salmon

A lot

Please Grandson

I'll pay you 50 cents

A pound for it.