Hatcheries Fish in Nets and Fish in Habitat

Wednesday, September 11, 2013: 2:00 PM
Marriott Ballroom A (The Marriott Little Rock)
Becky Johnson , Department of Fisheries Resources Management - Production Division, Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai, ID
Jay Hesse , Department of Fisheries Resources Management - Research Division, Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai, ID
Fish management is becoming increasingly complex, with multiple stakeholders having influence on: management decision making, management action implementation, and life stage specific fish survival mechanisms. The Nez Perce Tribe (NPT) is a stakeholder with treaty-reserved fishing rights.  As a fishery co-manager, the NPT utilizes hatcheries as a tool to maintain harvest and restore healthy populations throughout its usual and accustomed area.  Tribal policy success principles associated with the hatchery management tool include: fish on the table (or fish in nets), fish in the habitat, functional ecosystems, and ensuring active fish management role.  Contemporary attributes of salmon and steelhead hatcheries in the Snake River basin will be described.

1)      The social, cultural, and economic benefits of salmon and steelhead harvest are immense.

2)      Hatcheries represent a promise – they are payment on the unfulfilled debt to mitigate for limiting factors (e.g., hydrosystem, habitat destruction).

3)      Not all hatchery fish are the same. Most hatchery production occurs for harvest programs. Some (much less) have recently been operated for recovery.

4)      Hatchery operations for both harvest and recovery have evolved and continue to be refined/reformed at an accelerated rate. Information from changed hatchery programs has only recently begun to be included in the published literature.

5)      Modern hatchery programs can fulfill multiple objectives of supporting fisheries and re-introduction and recovery efforts (adult disposition management).

6)      Hatchery actions are just one of many tools being applied to recover and restore populations.

7)      Hatchery actions have associated risks to natural production; realized impacts vary by species and population.

8)      Almost all hatchery fish in the Columbia Basin are marked in some way.  The vast majority are adipose fin clipped.

9)      Rigorous and coordinated research, monitoring, and evaluation is ongoing to adaptively manage and minimize risks.

10)   Collaborative effort to evaluate hatchery effectiveness at regional scale needed.