What makes sense to the approaches we take toward our wild fish? Inland rivers have many biological hurdles for a fish to stay pure. A hatchery-blended fish that has evolved over decades is returning to spawn. To isolate wild fish from them — how is it possible? As the Columbia River gets sensationalized, many other rivers’ natural spawning fish have been destroyed by indiscriminate harvests as we just waste hatchery adults. So many previous natural-producing rivers are almost void of nests. Hatchery reform goes against us.
A natural-spawn hatchery gene pool created by human intervention is what we need to work on. We need in-river escapement employed before any harvest with all returning fish is available. Genes in these fish that we gave them last forever. How can our fish move forward when what we are doing now is working directly against our creation?
Fish and wildlife management seem stuck on wild fish. They make the rules but are not in touch, and they are not being responsible to what they have created. Nets kill our path to recovery. Their feeling for recovery is heartless. Fishing has gone far below numbers where it should be and dropping. Good luck to us all.
Larry R. Carey