Thursday, September 16, 2010: 8:40 AM
302 (Convention Center)
Pacific salmon managers have a number of techniques they can use to reduce the production and harvest impacts of hatchery fish on their wild counterparts that are protected under the United States Endangered Species Act. The adoption of fish culture techniques that increase hatchery salmon postrelease survival can be used to reduce production numbers and resulting ecological interactions, while maintaining harvest levels. Volitional release strategies can provide an opportunity to separate out and remove residuals from anadromous hatchery populations so they do not result in undesirable ecological interactions with protected stocks. Imprinting and release strategies can be designed to minimize straying and return hatchery production to terminal areas away from natural spawning grounds to permit harvest opportunities with little or no protected fish bycatch. Coupling benign live capture technology with readily identifiable marks may be utilized to allow the selective harvest of hatchery salmon in areas where protected stocks are present in the same time and space. In summary, implementing the proper suite of fish culture, release, marking, and selective fishery strategies can enable fishery managers to use hatchery production to maintain salmon fisheries, while minimizing their impact on protected wild stocks.