Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Hatchery Fish Impede Recovery on the Sandy

photo by David Thurman

For the last several weeks Spencer Miles an NFS river steward has been spearheading efforts to call attention to the conservation challenges facing the Sandy River. Each year over 1.2 million salmon and steelhead smolts are released into the Sandy and wild populations of ESA listed chinook, coho and steelhead all continue to decline. Hatchery programs of this type and magnitude are known to dramatically reduce the productivity of wild salmonids and with the removal of Marmot dam managers can no longer sort hatchery spawners out of the upper river. As a result stray rates of hatchery fish, in particular spring chinook have skyrocketed. The Sandy is one of the largest relatively intact watersheds on the Lower Columbia and millions of dollars have been spent over the last decade to restore its habitat. Despite the opportunity afforded by the Sandy River and the recommendations of multiple agencies and stakeholders that the Sandy be managed as an all wild river system, ODFW continues to pump more than a million hatchery fish into the river every year. Check out Spencer's blog Whitefish Can't Jump for more information:

http://whitefishcantjump.com/

Contact ODFW and tell them to put wild fish first on the Sandy:

http://alerts.nativefishsociety.org/campaign/3-save-the-sandy

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