Are California hatcheries negatively impacting the very species they are meant to sustain? Last week’s issue of The Fish Report from FishBio delves into the much researched issue.
But while the fish production of California’s hatcheries is both immense and technologically impressive, there remain uncertainties about how effectively these artificially sustained populations can serve as surrogates for their wild counterparts. It may seem illogical that hatcheries could actually impact the very species they are meant to proliferate; however, many studies have raised concerns about hatchery practices, backed up by empirical evidence.
At California Trout we believe that abundant wild fish mean a better California and we work to solve the state’s complex resource issues while balancing the needs of people and wild fish. As this report notes, the hatchery program serves a purpose and keeps the commercial salmon industry on life support. However, we need to improve the checks and balances to ensure that California’s wild salmon and steelhead populations are not collateral damage.