Obama budget would shut down trout hatcheries
Posted 24 February 2011 - 02:16 PM
These hatcheries produce non native rainbow, brown and lake trout for stocking into the eastern and central US.
Maybe that is a good thing?
Posted 24 February 2011 - 08:17 PM
Posted 25 February 2011 - 12:50 AM
Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:36 PM
What Obama is involved with is by definition political, as is the policies in play with the spending of public money. This issue is not about bogeymen. No system or organization is perfect. It is about getting the most benefit with the resources available. Unfortunately for many of these hatcheries the policies are actually counter to native conservation, however well intentioned. I would rather see the policies amended to science based best practices, rather than the resources available simply go away. But in the hatchery case, at least for some (I understand than some hatcheries actually do make a more concerted effort at good operational practices), going away appears likely to be a lesser evil than continuing with present practices. Hopefully the resources will return with a better operational policy and more responsiveness to the available data.
wow were really into the political fodder these days again...
Posted 25 February 2011 - 02:00 PM
Anyway it a fact that the USFWS is proposing to close down several southern federal hatcheries.
Just posting this as an FYI.
Some folks don't like the stocking of non native species.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 03:35 PM
Now I could go over the issues with population genetics, distinct from genetics itself, or the ecological issues where the fry are released independent of any feedback on the available food base or the ecological niches different species fill which are perturbed, the disease issues and dynamics, etc. In fact whole encyclopedias could be written on this stuff, and it *all* points to bad practice by many of these hatcheries. The same bad practices you can read warnings to fishermen and collectors on fisheries sites to avoid.
If this was merely an issue of likes and dislikes, or merely some political battle cry over personal freedoms, it would be a non-issue.
Posted 25 February 2011 - 04:16 PM
Sometimes there is no escaping politics, especially when it comes to government agencies.
While that may be true it is clearly stated that politics are not allowed on this forum. Plus, presidents can propose budgets or any bill for that matter, but it is ultimately up to elected officials in Congress to write, vote on, and deliver to the executive branch.
I don't support the stocking of non-natives either, but most of these hatcheries produce trout to mitigate fisheries below tailwaters created by federally built and managed dams that no longer support native fish communities below them. So its not like these brown trout are going in and eating up every native trout, minnow, and darter. The aquatic community has already been severly disturbed and a warm water fishery that is lost is being replaced by an economically viable cold water fishery.
Posted 26 February 2011 - 01:29 PM
You do make a point about some tailwaters being incapable of supporting much in the way of native fish anymore.
But many streams capable of supporting native fish are also stocked with non native trout.
If all trout stocked were sterile, it would mitigate some of the negative effects.
Still many native brook trout fisheries have vanished because of rainbow and brown trout competition in the eastern US and Canada.
Posted 31 March 2011 - 03:45 PM
Posted 31 March 2011 - 07:30 PM
I am not so sure it will be such a disaster. I could be wrong, but the chance of this driving any particular species to extinction is the short term is near zero. So watching the biosurveys after such a shutdown should be highly informative in itself.
They are intending to shut down Garrison Fish Hatchery in North Dakota, which also produces Pallid Sturgeon. They also do some native game fish, but not too familiar with that. I think the State will fight to take it over or keep it funded from a sport fish perspective. There are several other Federal hatcheries that do non-game natives, like Dexter NFH in NM, but not sure of their status. If Dexter shuts down it will be a disaster for some native fish.
A bigger question is if you have a species in trouble and in the years these programs have been in operation have failed to have a significant impact on how much trouble these species are in what is the real problem? In fact without resolving the real problem no breeding program can have any real effect, except to limit the ecological niches available to the wild population. So if this is actually such a disastrous move what is the problem with the present wild population after so many have been captive breed and released? It means that captive breeding is not the solution and that the real disaster is going unaddressed. Captive breeding in the short term may be a valid part of a solution after the real problems are addressed, but merely breeding a species year after year to dump into an environment incapable of supporting them is not.
Posted 31 March 2011 - 09:29 PM
We have serious habitat issues that no amount of captive breeding can fix. If there is good habitat, fish will thrive. They'v been doing it a lot longer than we've been around. If we've wrecked the habitat and aren't fixing it, throwing fish at the problem solves nothing.
Posted 31 March 2011 - 11:00 PM
Posted 15 April 2011 - 11:02 AM
However, the main purpose of a few instances of native fish that I am familiar with is that the fish in the hatchery form a refuge population, the broodstock, maintaining at least a little genetic diversity that may be lost in the wild. Really, the only time they throw fish, nongame natives, back into the wild and into degraded habitat, is when they get more fish than they can hold, or if some other party funds production of fish for whatever purpose they have. In some cases, the hatchery holds nearly the entire population of a species, for example, the Pahranagat roundtail chub. Currently, there is no place to put them in the wild, but someday maybe? And what to do with fish such as the bonytail chub, which pretty much relies on hatcheries. The dams that caused them to die off won't go away. I don't think the fact that a species is probably doomed, or doesn't have any place in the wild to go, should preclude the government from caring for them in a hatchery setting.
I agree on both counts...we definately need to improve their enviroment, but in many instances they could live successfully in their enviroment if it wasnt for introduced fish like mosquitofish, or largemouth bass; in those cases the hatcheries provide the only links to the survival of the species.
Posted 15 April 2011 - 07:50 PM
Posted 29 June 2011 - 09:53 AM
I'm sick and tired of giving quotes for paddlefish fry and armlings to states and municipalities only to find that those contracts have been fulfilled by government-run hatcheries. When tax dollars fund the salaries and infrastructure of my competition, I cannot come close to price.
I now pay taxes to fund my competition.
This has also crept into my bread and butter-caviar production. North Dakota and Oklahoma have created state-run caviar companies that compete with private enterprise on an international scale. Three other states are looking at this as a source of revenue. Paddlefish fishermen, by law, must use the states' cleaning stations. The cleaning stations process the meat for free and keep the roe. It's just plain wrong.
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