Strategies for reducing the ecological risks of hatchery programs: Case studies from the Pacific Northwest
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Abstract The Pacific Northwest state and federal agencies and tribes that operate salmon and steelhead (Oncorhynchus sp.) hatcheries are authorized to develop and implement strategies to reduce the risks the programs pose to wild fish populations. This paper reviews five case studies from the states of Oregon and Washington, USA, where agencies and tribes have implemented or proposed programs that were intended to reduce ecological risks due to hatchery programs. The case studies are for Oregon coho salmon, Select Area terminal fisheries programs for Chinook and coho salmon in the lower Columbia River, Hood Canal chum salmon in Puget Sound Washington, Siletz River steelhead on the Oregon coast, and Okanogan River Chinook salmon in eastern Washington. The five case studies address a diversity of management objectives and species. They demonstrate some of the science and risk reduction strategies used to alleviate the ecological effects of hatcheries, and they document some of the results and outcomes of taking action. Elements of four of the case studies have been in place for nearly 20 years. The available science and the conservation ethic toward hatchery programs evolved significantly over this period, and management decisions and strategies have been influenced by public policy as well as by scientific information. Therefore the case studies also document some of the history, the evolution of ideas, the uncertainty, and the political controversy associated with the management of this risk factor. The paper concludes with six principles to help guide the development of future risk reduction programs.

  • Content Type Journal Article
  • Pages 1-26
  • DOI 10.1007/s10641-011-9868-1
  • Authors
    • Kathryn Kostow, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 17330 SE Evelyn St., Clackamas, OR 97015, USA