From Hatchery Bashing to Hatchery Reform

Keith Ridler of the Associated Press writes an excellent overview of the recent history of hatchery reform in the U.S. Pacific northwest, where scientists and governmental agencies have come to realize that uncontrolled hatcheries can a be a boon or a bane. The more than 100 hatcheries built prior to the 1990s — primarily to offset the impacts of dams, irrigation, logging and urban development — may have contributed to an overall decline in fish populations, it turns out. Now the emphasis is on wild fish. “‘Run wrong and a hatchery can do a lot of damage to natural stocks,’ said Bob Lohn, regional administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service. ‘Run right and they can do a lot to sustain them.'”

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