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News / Opinion / Letters to the Editor
The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: Ancestral fish are overharvested

By Larry Carey, Vancouver
Published: September 12, 2023, 6:00am

Real is in the numbers from our state hatcheries. Records of how many eggs hatcheries took are in WDFW escapement website. In the 1970s our Washington hatcheries took yearly roughly 300 million salmon eggs. Recently, 187 million. Hatchery fish spawned also. Hatchery fish not spawning caused loss rates to rise. Federal policy torments us with wild salmon they still allow to be overharvested. True wild salmon harvested genetically are melting faster than pole glaciers. Salmon need replenishment physically in number.

Fifty million smolt released for orcas was 140 million short of 1970s. NOAA allows selling any salmon without reductions worldwide then starving orcas appeared during hatchery reductions. Imperiled came with overharvest before dams. Hatcheries saved this resource and harvesting so why downsized releases? Expectations above wild ability lacks recognition. Is it on purpose? Conspired overharvesting of ancestral fish prevails. Fish lost in a conspiracy? Somewhere else can harvest on wild, then partial inland protection happens only here. How’s that working?    

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