Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sandy River Guides Speak Out Against Hatcheries

In a guest editorial to the Oregonian today, eight of Oregon's finest fishing guides are speaking out against ODFW's hatchery operations on the Sandy. The River once supported more than 20,000 wild winter steelhead. As recently as the 1980s the basin supported more than 4000 winter steelhead, and today despite millions of dollars invested in habitat and fish passage wild runs have dwindled below 1000 fish. While many factors have contributed to the decline of wild Sandy River steelhead and salmon, improved habitat and passage has not had the intended benefit of improving the productivity of wild stocks. This is largely due to massive, unsustainable hatchery programs which depress wild productivity through reproductive introgression, competition for resources and the host of other ecological perils associated with large scale hatcheries. The Native Fish Society has called on ODFW to dramatically reduce the number of hatchery fish released into the Sandy to make wild recovery possible. Read more in the Oregonian:

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