by admin on February 10th, 2012



Allendorf et al. 1994: “We are not aware of a single empirical example in which (hatchery) supplementation has been successfully used as a temporary strategy to permanently increase abundance of naturally spawning populations of Pacific salmon.”

Altukhov et al 1991: “Artificial reproduction, commercial fisheries, and transfers result in the impairment of gene diversity in salmon populations, and so cause their biological degradation.”

Araki et al. 2008: “Captive breeding is used to supplement populations of many species that are declining in the wild. The suitability of and long-term species survival from such programs remain largely untested, however. We measured lifetime reproductive success of the first two generations of steelhead trout that were reared in captivity and bred in the wild after they were released. By reconstructing a three-generation pedigree with microsatellite markers, we show that genetic effects of domestication reduce subsequent reproductive capabilities by 40% per captive-reared generation when fish are moved to natural environments. These results suggest that even a few generations of domestication may have negative effects on natural reproduction in the wild and that the repeated use of captive-reared parents to supplement wild populations should be carefully reconsidered.”

“Our review indicates that salmonids appear to be very susceptible to fitness loss while in captivity.  The degree of fitness loss appears to be mitigated to some extent by using local, wild fish for broodstock, but we found little evidence to suggest that it can be avoided altogether.  The general finding of low relative fitness of hatchery fish combined with studies that have found broad scale negative associations between the presence of hatchery fish and wild population performance, should give fisheries managers pause as they consider whether to include hatchery production in their conservation toolbox.”

“Accumulating data indicate that hatchery fish have lower fitness in natural environments than wild fish.  This fitness decline can occur very quickly, sometimes following only one or two generations of captive rearing.”

Araki, Hitoshi, Becky Cooper, and Michael S. Blouin. 2009. Carry-over effect of captive breeding reduces reproductive fitness of wild-born descendants in the wild. Biological Letters 5: (5) 621-624.

Supplementation of wild populations with captive-bred organisms is a common practice for conservation of threatened wild populations. Yet it is largely unknown whether such programmes actually help population size recovery. While a negative genetic effect of captive breeding that decreases fitness of captive-bred organisms has been detected, there is no direct evidence for a carry-over effect of captive breeding in their wild-borndescendants, which would drag down the fitness of the wild population in subsequent generations. In this study, we use genetic parentage assignments to reconstruct a pedigree and estimate reproductive fitness of the wild-born descendants of captive-bred parents in a supplemented population of steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). The estimated fitness varied among years, but overall relative reproductive fitness was only 37 per cent in wild-born fish from two captive-bred parents and 87 per cent in those from one captive-bred and one wild parent (relative to those from two wild parents). Our results suggest a significant carry-over effect of captive breeding, which has negative influence on the size of the wild population in the generation after supplementation. In this population, the population fitness could have been 8 per cent higher if there was no carry-over effect during the study period.

Araki and Schmid 2010:  “We summarized 266 peer-reviewed papers that were published in the last 50 years, which describe empirical case studies on ecology and genetics of hatchery stocks and their effects on stock enhancement. Specifically, we asked whether hatchery stock and wild stock differed in fitness and the level of genetic variation, and whether stocking affected population abundance. Seventy studies contained comparisons between hatchery and wild stocks, out of which 23 studies showed significantly negative effects of hatchery rearing on the fitness of stocked fish, and 28 studies showed reduced genetic variation in hatchery populations.  None of these studies suggested a positive genetic effect on the fitness of hatchery-reared individuals after release.

“The answer to the question whether hatchery stocking is helpful or harmful to wild stock depends on the goal of the hatcheries, species and the cases. A major limitation in our knowledge is the link between the performance of hatchery fish in the wild and their influence on the stocked populations. Parentage analyses based on genetic methods seem useful to investigate this link. Until we find a way to mitigate the negative genetic impacts on wild stock, however, hatchery stocking should not be assumed as an effective remedy for stock enhancement.”

Bachman 1984: “Hatchery brown trout fed less, moved more, and expended more energy than wild brown trout in streams.”

Bams 1970: “Hatchery pink salmon migrated to the ocean one to two weeks earlier than wild pinks.”

Berejikian and Ford 2004: “All of the studies we found for Scenarios 1 (nonlocal, domesticated hatchery stocks) and 4 (captive and farmed stocks) found evidence of highly reduced relative fitness for nonlocal, domesticated hatchery stocks, captive broodstocks, and farmed populations. We therefore conclude that it is reasonable to assume that steelhead, coho, and Atlantic salmon stocks in these categories will have low (<30%) lifetime relative fitness in the wild compared to native, natural populations.”

Berntson et al. 2011. “Hatchery supplementation programs are designed to enhance natural production and maintain the fitness of the target population, however, the relative reproductive success (RRS) of hatchery-origin fish was 30–60% that of their natural-origin counterparts. There is acute interest in evaluating the reproductive performance of hatchery fish that are allowed to spawn in the wild.

“Despite the higher reproductive success for natural individuals, hatchery fish outnumbered natural ones by more than five to one, yielding an overall  hatchery contribution to our offspring sample that was nearly twice that of natural fish… yet it is equally clear that hatchery-reared fish left fewer offspring per individual than their natural counterparts.”

Blouin 2003: “Non-local domesticated hatchery summer-run steelhead achieved 17-54% the lifetime fitness of natural native fish.”

Blouin 2009: “If anyone ever had any doubts about the genetic differences between hatchery and wild fish, the data are now pretty clear. The effect is so strong that it carries over into the first wild-born generation. Even if fish are born in the wild and survive to reproduce, those adults that had hatchery parents still produce substantially fewer surviving offspring than those with wild parents. That’s pretty remarkable.”

Blouin 2009: “The implication is that hatchery salmonids – many of which do survive to reproduce in the wild– could be gradually reducing the fitness of the wild populations with which they interbreed. Those hatchery fish provide one more hurdle to overcome in the goal of sustaining wild runs, along with problems caused by dams, loss or degradation of habitat, pollution, overfishing and other causes.  Aside from weakening the wild gene pool, the release of captive-bred fish also raises the risk of introducing diseases and increasing competition for limited resources.”

Blouin 2009: “There is about a 40% loss in reproductive fitness for each generation spent in a hatchery.”

Bowles 2008: “Hatchery programs are not a substitute for, or an alternative to, achieving a viable wild population according to NOAA Fisheries’ Hatchery Policy. Instead, any hatchery programs have to support natural production.”

“The threats to wild populations caused by stray hatchery fish are well documented in the scientific literature. Among the impacts are substantial genetic risks that affect the fitness, productivity and genetic diversity of wild populations. Genetic risks increase substantially when the proportion of the adult population that is hatchery fish increases over 5% (Lynch and O’Hely 2001, Ford 2002).”

“Hatchery programs also pose ecological risks to wild populations that can further decrease abundance and productivity (reviewed by Kostow 2008). The level of risk is related to both the proportion of the fish in a basin that are hatchery fish and to the source of the hatchery fish.  Ecological risks due to the presence of hatchery adults (including adults of a different species) have been demonstrated when the proportion that is hatchery fish is over 10% (Kostow and Zhou 2006).

“In comparison to these risk levels, the proportion of adults in the Deschutes that are out-of-basin hatchery steelhead has been as high as 73%, while the proportion in the lower John Day has been as high as 30% (note that additional out-of-basin stray hatchery Chinook are also present in these basins and also may contribute to the ecological risks). Threats to productivity and genetic diversity are particularly critical when the hatchery fish originate from a substantial distance away from the natal basin of the wild population (Reisenbichler 1988, Waples 1995). This increased threat applies to the Deschutes and John Day populations since the stray hatchery fish are from a different DPS, primarily the Snake River DPS.”

“The recovery plan for Oregon populations in the Mid-Columbia Steelhead DPS found that out-of-basin hatchery strays are a primary threat to Deschutes River and John Day River steelhead populations (Carmichael et al. 2008). According to the recovery plan, the Mid-Columbia Expert Panel found, regarding these strays, that ‘The principal concern relates to a continuing detrimental impact of stray hatchery fish in natural spawning areas on the genetic traits and productivity of naturally produced steelhead’(Carmichael et al. 2007, section 8.1.2).”

“Origin of broodstock will not alleviate ecological hatchery risks (Kostow and Zhou 2006), and by itself it may not be enough to substantially reduce genetic risks.”

“While it is reasonable to expect that a substantial decrease in hatchery fraction would contribute to recovery, the proposed hatchery actions for most of the populations are just a change in broodstock.  A population that is supported by a hatchery program is not “trending toward recovery” until the hatchery influence can be removed and the wild population is demonstrated to be self-sustaining without it.”

Brannon et al. 1999: (Independent Scientific Advisory Board) :  “The three recent independent reviews of fish and wildlife recovery efforts in the Columbia River Basin addressed hatcheries. There was consensus among the three panels (National Fish Hatchery Review Panel, National Research Council, Independent Science Group), which underscores the importance of their contributions in revising the scientific foundation for hatchery policy.  The ten general conclusions made by the panels are listed below.

  1. Hatcheries generally have failed to meet their objectives
  2. Hatcheries have imparted adverse effects on natural populations
  3. Managers have failed to evaluate hatchery programs
  4. Rationale justifying hatchery production was based on untested assumptions.
  5. Hatchery supplementation should be linked with habitat improvements
  6. Genetic considerations have to be included in hatchery programs.
  7. More research and experimental approaches are required.
  8. Stock transfers and introductions of non-native species should be discontinued.
  9. Artificial production should have a new role in fisheries management.
  10. Hatcheries should be used as temporary refuges rather than for long-term production.

Brauner 1994: “In freshwater swimming velocity tests, wild coho salmon smolts swam faster than hatchery fish.   In seawater hatchery fish performance compared to wild fish was poor.  Hatchery fish had more difficulty osmoregulating.”

Briggs 1953: ““It was possible to obtain some indications of the efficiency of artificial propagation through information supplied by state and federal agencies engaged in fish cultural operations in the three Pacific coast states and in New Zealand. For the portion of the life cycle up to the free-swimming fry stage, the survival of individuals was computed, beginning with the eggs which were brought upstream by the mature females. Utilizing the small amount of information available, a crude percentage survival was calculated as follows: Silver salmon, 58.5; king salmon, 65.1, and steelhead trout, 47.8 percent. These percentages may be compared to the survival data for the same three species under natural conditions in Prairie Creek: Silver salmon, 74.3; king salmon, 86.0, and steelhead trout, 64.9 percent. Therefore, there is no doubt that, during the period of study, substantially more young fish were introduced as fry into Prairie Creek via natural propagation than could be supplied through standard hatchery methods utilizing the entire run in the creek.

Buhle et al. 2009: “Our analyses highlight four critical factors influencing the productivity of these populations: (1) negative density-dependent effects of hatchery-origin spawners were~5 times greater than those of wild spawners; (2) the productivity of wild salmon decreased as releases of hatchery juveniles increased; (3) salmon production was positively related to an index of freshwater habitat quality; and (4) ocean conditions strongly affect productivity at large spatial scales, potentially masking more localized drivers. These results suggest that hatchery programs’ unintended negative effects on wild salmon populations, and their role in salmon recovery, should be considered in the context of other ecological drivers.”

“We found that wild populations of Oregon coast coho salmon responded to changing hatchery practices during the 1990s. Productivity, expressed as the per capita growth rate in the absence of harvest, improved with reductions in the density of hatchery origin fish spawning in the wild and the numbers of hatchery smolts released into rivers. The strongest negative effects of hatcheries were associated with hatchery-reared adults breeding in the wild, precisely the pathway that might be expected to contribute most to population rebuilding.”

Byrne et al. 1992: “Building more hatcheries should cause alarm to biologists concerned with the preservation of native stocks until it is demonstrated that supplementation can be done in a way that does not reduce fitness of the native stock.”

Chilcote et al. 1986: “The success of hatchery fish in producing smolt offspring was only 28% of that for wild fish. We also found that 62% of the naturally produced summer-run smolts were offspring of hatchery spawners. Their dominance occurred because hatchery spawners within the watershed we examined effectively outnumbered wild spawners by at least 4 .5 to 1. We suggest that, under such conditions, the genetic integrity of wild populations may be threatened.”

Chilcote 2002 “…there will be little benefit to bringing some of the wild fish into the hatchery environment if the resulting hatchery smolts will have ocean survival rates that are 1/10 of those for wild smolts….all indications are that hatchery fish, even from wild broodstocks, are not as successful as wild fish in producing viable offspring under natural conditions….”

Chilcote 2003: “Naturally spawning population comprised of equal numbers of hatchery and wild fish would produce 63% fewer recruits per spawner than one comprised entirely of wild fish.  For natural populations, removal rather than addition of hatchery fish may be the most effective strategy to improve productivity and resilience.”

Chilcote 2008: “At a recent meeting of lower Columbia River Salmon Recovery Stakeholders, the document , Recovery Strategies to Close the Conservation Gap Methods and Assumptions, hatchery fish impacts are discussed.  It says, “…relative population survival rates (recruits produced per spawner) were found to decrease at a rate equal to or greater than the proportion of hatchery fish in the natural spawning population.  In other words, a spawning population with 20% hatchery strays (regardless of the type of hatchery program and whether they are integrated or segregated) had the net survival rate (recruits per spawner) that was 20% less than a population comprised entirely of wild fish (0% hatchery strays).  Likewise, a population with 40% hatchery strays had a population survival rate that was 40% lower than a population comprised entirely of wild fish.”

Chilcote et al. 2010: “We found a negative relationship between the reproductive performance in natural populations of steelhead, coho, and Chinook salmon and the proportion of hatchery fish in the spawning population. We used intrinsic productivity as estimated from fitting a variety of recruitment models to abundance data for each population as our indicator of reproductive performance. The magnitude of this negative relationship is such that we predict the recruitment performance for a population comprised entirely of hatchery fish would be 0.128 of that for a population comprised entirely of wild fish. The effect of hatchery fish was the same among all three species. Further, the impact of hatchery fish from ‘wild type’ hatchery broodstocks was no less adverse than hatchery fish from traditional, domesticated broodstocks. We also found no support for the hypothesis that a population’s productivity was affected by the length of exposure to hatchery fish. In most cases, measures that minimize the interactions between wild and hatchery fish will be the best long-term conservation strategy for wild populations.”

Christie et al. 2011: “These results demonstrate that a single generation in captivity can result in a substantial response to selection on traits that are beneficial in captivity but severely maladaptive in the wild.  We also documented a tradeoff among the wild-born broodstock: Those with the greatest fitness in a captive environment produced offspring that performed the worst in the wild.

Dickson 1982:  “Juvenile hatchery fish show a behavioral shift in stream feeding position compared to wild fish.  Hatchery fish feed nearer the surface.  This may expose them to greater predation.”

Ersbak et al.  1983: “Hatchery trout conditions declined after stocking.  Hatchery fish were less flexible in switching to available food in the stream.”

Fenderson, 1968:  “Hatchery fish are more aggressive and dominate wild fish, and hatchery fish have a higher mortality.”

Flagg and Nash, 1999:  “The reviews conclude that artificial culture environments condition salmonids to respond to food, habitat, conspecifics and predators differently than fish reared in natural environments. It is now recognized that artificial rearing conditions can produce fish distinctly different from wild cohorts in behavior, morphology, and physiology.”

Fleming and M.R. Gross 1993: “The divergence of hatchery fish in traits important for reproductive success has raised concerns.  This study shows that hatchery coho salmon males are competitively inferior to wild fish, and attained only 62% of the breeding success of wild males.  Hatchery females had more difficulty in spawning than wild fish and hatchery fish had only 82% of the breeding success of wild fish.  These results indicate hatchery fish may pose an ecological and genetic threat to wild fish.”

Fleming et al. 1994: “Results of this study imply that hatchery fish have restricted abilities to rehabilitate wild populations, and may pose ecological and genetic threats to the conservation of wild populations.”

Fleming et al. 1997: “Reproductive success defined in the study as the ability to produce viable eyed embryos did not differ between hatchery and natural females.  Hatchery males, however, achieved only 51% the estimated relative reproductive success of natural males under conditions of mutual competition.  Hatchery males were less able to monopolize access to spawning females and suffered more severe wounding and greater mortality than natural males.”

Fleming and Einum 1997:  “Our results thus indicate that the farming of Atlantic salmon can generate rapid genetic change in fitness related traits as a result of domestication due to intentional and unintentional selection. As much of this change appears to be an adaptive response to the culture environment, it can be of value for programmes attempting to improve aquaculture production (e.g. Doyle et al., 1991). This change, however, is a threat to wild populations when these fish escape, and compete and breed with wild salmon. The invasion of escaped farmed salmon into rivers not only increases competition for resources, but also results in the infusion of different genetic traits into wild populations. Many of these traits are likely to be maladaptive for the local environment both because of the non-indigenous origins of the farmed salmon (Einum and Fleming, 1997) and because of the changes that have occurred due to culturing. While natural selection may be able to purge wild populations of such maladaptive traits, its actions are severely hindered by the year-after-year introgression of farmed salmon. The net result is almost certainly a decline in population fitness, as the influence of selection from the culture environment overrides that in the wild.”

Flick, et al. 1964: “Wild brook trout had higher summer and winter survival than hatchery fish.”

Ford, 2002:  “Substantial phenotypic changes and fitness reductions can occur even if a large fraction of the captive broodstock is brought in from the wild every generation.  This suggests that regularly bringing wild-origin broodstock into captive populations cannot be relied upon to eliminate the effects of inadvertent domestication selection.”

Ford 2010: “What is known from peer-reviewed scientific studies on the impact of hatchery salmonids on wild salmonids?  Hatchery fish reproductive success in poor; there is a large scale negative correlation between the presence of hatchery fish and wild population performance; hatchery fish reproductive success is lower than for wild fish and this is true for both supplementation and production hatchery programs; there is evidence of both environmental and heritable effects; effects were detected for both release and proportion of hatchery spawners; negative correlations between hatchery influence and wild productivity are widespread; habitat or ocean conditions do not appear to explain the pattern; current science indicates that limiting natural spawning of hatchery fish is generally beneficial to wild populations; there is evidence that reducing hatchery production leads to increased wild production, and cumulative effects of hatchery could be a factor limiting recovery of some ESUs.”

Hilborn 1992: “Pacific salmon hatcheries have failed to deliver expected benefits and they pose the greatest single threat to the long-term maintenance of salmonids.”

Hjort and Schreck 1982: “The results of this study also suggest a potential weakness in hatchery supplementation.  Selection through hatchery environment and hatchery practices may be changing the overall phenotype of hatchery stocks, as well as the between-year variability of individual genotypes (as we found for transferrin). If these changes result in reduced performance of the donor stocks in other stream systems, practices designed to increase hatchery production must be weighed against the actual benefits to wild production.”

Hulett et al. 1994:  “Hatchery winter steelhead were about one-half as effective as wild winter-run steelhead in naturally producing smolt offspring.  Hatchery winter steelhead were about one sixth as effective as wild winter steelhead in naturally produced adult offspring.”

Independent Economic Advisory Board (IEAB) 2002: “Augmentation and mitigation hatcheries, which seek to enhance fish harvests, can be judged by the cost incurred per additional fish harvested. The costs per harvested hatchery fish ranged from $23 for Priest Rapids fall chinook, to $55 per Spring Creek fall chinook, to $453 for Irrigon hatchery summer steelhead, to $1,051 for McCall summer chinook, to $4,800 – $68,031 at the Leavenworth hatchery complex.”

Hatchery Species  Produced Cost of a Salmon that is caught

Leavenworth        spring chinook                                                      $4,800

Entiat                     spring chinook                                                      $68,031 (Highest $891,000)

Winthrop               spring chinook                                                      $23,068

Priest Rapids         fall chinook                                                          $12.00  (Highest – $293)

Irrigon                    summer steelhead                                               $453

Spring Cr.              fall chinook                                                          $237  (range 14.53 – $460)

Clatsop                  coho                                                                       $124

Spring chinook                                                     $233

Fall chinook                                                          $65

Nez Perce              fall and spring chinook                                       $3,700

McCall                   spring chinook                                                      $786  (range $522 to $1,051)

“The benefit of the fishery is $45 to $77 per fish for the commercial fishery and $60 per fish for the sport fishery”

ISAB 2002. “We believe that available empirical evidence demonstrates a potential for deleterious interactions, both demographic and genetic, from allowing hatchery-origin salmon to spawn in the wild. Because it is virtually impossible to ‘undo’ the genetic changes caused by allowing hatchery and wild salmon to interbreed, the ISAB advocates great care in permitting hatchery-origin adult salmon to spawn in the wild.”

ISRP 2011: “. The BACI analysis found that productivity in the Imnaha River had decreased relative to all nine unsupplemented sites. the ISRP concludes that a conservation benefit in terms of NOR abundance is unlikely from supplementation.  Based on the analysis of productivity loss in the Imnaha River, the ISRP concludes that costs to population fitness are likely.

“Hatchery-origin adults spawning in the stream produced parr at slightly higher rates than natural-origin fish (1.03:1), produced smolts at an equal rate (1:1), but produced adults at a lower rate (0.77:1).”

“The supplementation projects as they are currently conducted with high proportions of hatchery fish in the hatchery broodstock and on the natural spawning grounds are likely compromising the long-term viability of the populations.”

“Over the long-term, however, hatchery-dominated programs that are implemented to reduce extinction risk will result in genetic changes owing to domestication selection and drift that are likely to offset any demographic benefit.”

Jonsson et al. 1993: “Differences were evident for hatchery Atlantic salmon relative to wild salmon, with common genetic backgrounds, in breeding success after a single generation in the hatchery.  Hatchery females averaged about 80% the breeding success of wild females.  Hatchery males had significantly reduced breeding success, averaging about 65% of the success of wild males.”

Jonsson and Jonsson 2002: “During the past 150 years,  (hatchery) enhancement and supplementation have become essential parts of salmonid management.  Interaction is likely to have a negative effect on the viability of wild populations.”

Knudson et al. 2006. “Perhaps the most important conclusion of our study is that even a hatchery program designed to minimize differences between hatchery and wild fish did not produce fish that were identical to wild fish.”

Kostow 2003 : “Our data support a conclusion that hatchery summer steelhead adults and their offspring contribute to wild steelhead population declines through competition for spawning and rearing habitats.”

Kostow 2004:  “In conclusion, this study demonstrated large average phenotype and survival differences between hatchery-produced and naturally produced fish from the same parent gene pool.  These results indicate that a different selection regime was affecting each of the groups.  The processes indicated by these results can be expected to lead to eventual genetic divergence between the new hatchery stock and its wild source population, thus limiting the usefulness of the stock for conservation purposes to only the first few generations.”

Leider, et. al., 1990: “The mean percentage of offspring from naturally spawning hatchery steelhead decreased at successive life history stages, compared to wild steelhead, from a potential of 85-87% at the egg stage to 42% at the adult stage.  Reproductive success of naturally spawning hatchery steelhead compared to wild steelhead decreases from 75-78% at the subyearling stage to 10.8-12.9% at the adult stage.”

Levings, et al., 1986:  “Hatchery chinook used the estuary a shorter period of time than wild chinook.  The greatest overlap between hatchery and wild chinook in the estuary is in the transition zone where greater competition could occur.”

Lynch and O’Hely 2001: “Our results suggest that the apparent short-term demographic advantages of a supplementation program can be quite deceiving.  Unless the selective pressures of the captive environment are closely managed to resemble those in the wild, long-term supplementation programs are expected to result in genetic transformation that can eventually lead to natural population no longer capable of sustaining themselves.”

Marchetti and Nevitt. 2003: “Our work may suggest a mechanistic basis for the observed vulnerability of hatchery fish to predation and their general low survival upon release into the wild. The brains of hatchery raised rainbow trout are smaller in 7 out of 8 critical neuroanatomical measures than those of their wild reared counterparts. Our results are the first to highlight the effects of hatchery rearing on changes in brain development in fishes.”

Mason, et al., 1997:  “Hatchery x wild and wild x wild crosses had higher survival in the natural stream compared to hatchery x hatchery crosses.”

McClure et al. 2008: “Continued interbreeding with hatchery-origin fish of lower fitness can lower the fitness of the wild population. Generally, large, long-term hatchery programs that dominate production of a population is a high risk factor for certain viability criteria and can lead to increased risk for the population. The populations meeting ‘high viability’ criteria will necessarily be large and spatially complex. In order to meet these criteria (spatial structure and diversity) there should be little or no introgression between hatchery fish and the wild component of the population. Populations supported by hatchery supplementation for more than three generations do not in most cases meet ICTRT viability criteria at the population level.”

“Artificial propagation does not contribute to increased natural productivity needed for viability, and appears in most cases, to erode productivity of wild populations.”

McLean et al. 2003: “Hatchery steelhead spawning in the wild had markedly lower reproductive success than native wild steelhead.  Wild females that spawned in 1996 produced 9 times as many adult offspring per capita as did hatchery females that spawned in the wild.  Wild females that spawned in 1997 produced 42 times as many adult offspring as hatchery females.  The wild steelhead population more than met replacement requirements (approximately 3.7 – 6.7 adult offspring were produced per female), but the hatchery steelhead were far below replacement (<0.5 adults per female).”

Meffe 1992: “Countless salmon stocks have declined precipitously over the last century as a result of overfishing and widespread habitat destruction.  A central feature of recovery efforts has been to build many hatcheries to produce large quantities of fish to restock streams.  This approach addresses the symptoms but not the causes of the declines.”

Miller, 1953:  “Hatchery cutthroat trout had lower survival compared to wild fish due to absence of natural selection at early life stages.”

Miller et al. 1990: “Over 300 (hatchery) supplementation projects were reviewed and the authors found: 1) examples of success at rebuilding self-sustaining anadromous fish runs with hatchery fish are scarce (22 out of 316 projects reviewed), 2) success was primarily from providing fish for harvest, and 3) adverse impacts to wild stocks have been shown or postulated for every type of hatchery fish introduction to rebuild runs.”

Mobrand et al. 2005: “We concluded that hatcheries must operate in new modes with increased scientific oversight and that they cannot meet their goals without healthy habitats and self-sustaining naturally-spawning populations.”

Moran and Waples 2007:  “…we show some compelling differences in reproductive success of hatchery and wild fish.  Naturally spawning hatchery fish are less than half as productive as wild fish.”

Mullan, “Mean hatchery spring chinook smolt to adult survival ranged from 0.16 to 0.55%, 1976-1988 compared to wild spring chinook survival rate of from 1.6 to 8.1%.  Naturally produced smolts were about 10 – 80 times as viable as hatchery smolts.”

Naish et al. 2008: “If one concern has been identified, it is that many hatchery programmes continue to be operated with few objectives, and with a poor understanding of the magnitude and importance of the impacts of genetic effects of hatchery releases and the role of this information in informing remedial actions.”

“A rapidly growing body of literature points towards detrimental behavioural interactions between hatchery and wild fish. More is known about these interactions in freshwater rearing habitats than in estuarine and marine environments. There is also, however, a paucity of information on whether risk avoidance measures are effective at reducing competition and predation and, as far as we know, little attention is directed towards carrying capacity when the size of release is considered.”

Naylor et al. 2005: “Interbreeding between wild and farmed fish can result in mixing gene pools if the hybrids can reproduce, and eventually can lead to a wild population composed entirely of individuals descended from hatchery fish.  In a Norwegian study (Fleming et al. 2000), 55% of hatchery salmon in the experimental spawning population contributed 19% of the genes to adult fish in one generation later.  Continued one-way gene flow at this rate would halve the genetic difference between hatchery and wild salmon every 3.3 generations and lead to rapid genetic homogenization.”

Naylor et al. 2005:  “In McGinnity and colleagues’ (2003) recent farm release study in Ireland, the lifetime success of hybrids was only 27% to 89% as high as that of their wild cousins, and 70% of the embryos in the second generation died.  These results provide strong evidence of how interbreeding might drive vulnerable salmon populations to extinction.”

Naylor et al. 2005:  “Aggressive farm and hybrid fish can also result in shifts of wild counterparts to poorer habitats, increasing mortality. The productivity of the native juvenile salmon population was depressed by more than 30% in the presence of farm and hybrid juveniles.”

Naylor et al. 2005:  “An earlier review (Hindar et al. 1991) of the genetic effects following releases of nonnative salmonids reached two broad conclusions.  First, the genetic effects of intentionally or accidentally released salmonids on natural populations are often unpredictable and may vary from no detectable effects to complete introgression or displacement.  Second, when genetic effects on performance traits (e.g. survival in fresh water and seawater) have been detected, they appear always to be negative in comparison with the traits of unaffected native populations.”

Nickelson 1986:  “Hatchery coho juveniles are more abundant after stocking in streams but the result is fewer adult returns and fewer juvenile coho salmon in the next generation than in streams that were not stocked.”

Nickelson 2003: “Hatchery programs designed for harvest augmentation should be removed from basins with habitat that has high potential to produce wild salmonids.  To aid recovery of depressed wild salmon, the operation of hatcheries must be changed to reduce interactions of hatchery smolts with wild smolts.  A program that reduces harvest, restores habitat, and reduces hatchery effects is necessary.”

NMFS 2010: “Hatchery production has been reduced to a small fraction of the natural-origin production. Nickelson (2003) found that reduced hatchery production led directly to higher survival of naturally produced fish, and Buhle et al. (2009) found that the reduction in hatchery releases of Oregon coast coho salmon in the mid1990′s resulted in increased natural coho salmon abundance.”

ODFW 2010: “Chilcote and Goodson examined data sets on population abundance for 121 populations of coho, steelhead, and Chinook in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. They found that population productivity was inversely related to the average proportion of hatchery fish in the naturally-spawning population, consistent with the findings of Buhle et al. (2009). The magnitude of this effect was substantial. For example, a population comprised entirely of hatchery fish would have one tenth the intrinsic productivity of one comprised entirely of wild fish. There was no indication that the significance or strength of this relationship was different among the three species examined (chinook, coho and steelhead). In addition, there was no indication that the type of broodstock (integrated with the local natural-origin population versus segregated) affected the significance or intensity of the response.” (Section 2: Updating the Scientific Information in the 2008 FCRPS BiOp May 20, 2010, Page 118 and Lower Columbia River Salmon Recovery Plan 9-2010 ODFW)

ODFW 2010a: “For example, the reduction in productivity between a population comprised entirely of wild fish and one comprised of equal numbers of hatchery and wild fish is 66 percent for steelhead, 76 percent for coho, and 43 percent for Chinook.”

ODFW 2010b: “Hatchery programs have the potential to benefit or harm salmonid population viability by affecting abundance, productivity, distribution, and/or diversity. Hatchery related risks to salmon population viability include genetic changes that reduce fitness of wild fish, increase risk of disease outbreaks, and/or alter life history traits, and ecological effects—such as increased competition for food and space or amplified predation—that reduce population productivity and abundance. Hatcheries can also impose environmental changes by creating migration barriers that reduce a population’s spatial structure by limiting access to historical habitat.”

Perry, et al. 1993: “Idaho has been trying to unravel the secrets of hatchery and wild salmon interactions in nature.  Since hatchery salmon do not survive as well as wild salmon, it is important to fix this problem.  It is possible that a hatchery supplementation program may inadvertently replace the target natural population with one having lower survival and reproductive potential.”

Reisenbichler, et al. 1977: His research shows that hatchery x hatchery crosses of steelhead fry survival was lower than for wild x wild crosses and wild x hatchery crosses in streams.  Likewise he found that hatchery x hatchery crosses survived better in the hatchery environment.  The hatchery fish were derived from local wild steelhead and had changed in performance in two generations of hatchery rearing.  Conclusion: differences in survival suggested that the short-term effect of hatchery adults spawning in the wild is the production of fewer smolts and ultimately, fewer returning adults than are produced from the same number of wild steelhead spawners.

Reisenbichler 1986: “Most (hatchery fish) outplanting programs have been unsuccessful.  Rigorous planning, evaluation, and investigation are required to increase the likelihood of success and the ability to promptly discern failure.”

Reisenbichler 1992: “Because anadromous salmonids home to their natal streams to spawn, managers can expect the fish in different streams to be from genetically distinct stocks. We recommend that steelhead from different coastal drainages be considered and managed as distinct stocks.”

Reisenbichler 1994: “Gene flow from hatchery fish also is deleterious because hatchery populations genetically adapt to the unnatural conditions of the hatchery environment at the expense of adaptedness for living in natural streams.  This domestication is significant even in the first generation of hatchery rearing.”

Reisenbichler 1996:  “Available data suggest progressively declining fitness for natural rearing with increasing generations in the hatchery.  The reduction in survival from egg to adult may be about 25% after one generation in the hatchery and 85% after six generations.  Reduction in survival from yearling to adult may be about 15% after one generation in the hatchery and 67% after many generations.”

Reisenbichler  and Rubin 1999: “Although several studies have shown genetic differences between hatchery and wild anadromous Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), none has provided compelling evidence that artificial propagation poses a genetic threat to conservation of naturally spawning populations. When the published studies and three studies in progress are considered collectively, however, they provide strong evidence that the fitness for natural spawning and rearing can be rapidly and substantially reduced by artificial propagation. This issue takes on great importance in the Pacific Northwest where supplementation of wild salmon populations with hatchery fish has been identified as an important tool for restoring these populations. Recognition of negative aspects may lead to restricted use of supplementation, and better conservation, better evaluation, and greater benefits when supplementation is used.

“Apparently domestic selection is often intense.  The fitness of stream type chinook (spring chinook) salmon was diminished after four generations of culture, despite continuous gene flow from the wild population (on average, wild fish comprised 38% of the hatchery broodstock).  The fitness of steelhead was diminished after only two generations in the hatchery (Reisenbichler and McIntyre, 1977).  Presumably substantial change occurs in the first generation.”

“These conclusions imply that supplementation (wherein wild fish interbreed with hatchery fish of reduced fitness) will reduce the productivity of naturally spawning populations, and often may compromise conservation objectives.”

“Relative survival of hatchery steelhead continued to decline with age of the cohort, at least until after emigration as smolts.  This decline suggests that the fitness of the next generation would be low even before interbreeding with more hatchery fish, and that continuous supplementation should progressively diminish the productivity of the naturally spawning population.”

“The typical population proposed for supplementation is presumably one of low productivity which is substantially below carrying capacity.  Continued supplementation of such a population may reduce its productivity so that the population even becomes dependent on supplementation and cannot replace itself otherwise.”

Reisenbichler et al. 2004:  “Genetic theory and data suggest that sea ranching (hatchery production) of anadromous salmonids (Onchorhynchus spp. and Salmo spp.) results in domestication (increased fitness in the hatchery program) accompanied by a loss of fitness for natural production.  We tested for genetic differences in growth, survival, and downstream migration of hatchery and wild steelhead (O.mykiss) reared together in a hatchery.  We found little or no difference in survival during hatchery rearing but substantial differences in growth and subsequent downstream migration.  Intense natural selection after release from the hatchery favored fish that had performed well (e.g. grew fast) in the hatchery.  This selection in the natural environment genetically changes (domesticates) the population because at least some of the performance traits are heritable.  Domestication should improve the economic efficiency for producing adult hatchery fish but compromise conservation of wild populations when hatchery fish interbreed with wild fish.”

RIST 2009: “Most information available indicates that artificially-propagated fish do have ecological impacts on wild salmonid populations under most conditions (e.g. a 50% reduction in productivity for steelhead in an Oregon population). To the degree that the trait distributions seen in wild salmon populations are adaptations to their environments, selection imposed by the hatchery environment could result in reduced fitness of hatchery fish in the wild.”

Schroder, et al. 2008:  “Pedigree assignments based on microsatellite DNA, however, showed that the eggs deposited by wild females survived to the fry stage at a 5.6% higher rate than those spawned by hatchery females.  Subtle differences between hatchery and wild females in redd abandonment, egg burial, and redd location choice may have been responsible for the difference observed.  Other studies that have examined the effects of a single generation of hatchery culture on upper Yakima River chinook salmon have disclosed similar low-level effects on adult and juvenile traits.  The cumulative effect of such differences will need to be considered when hatcheries are used to restore depressed populations of chinook salmon.”

Shrimpton, et al., 1994:  “Juvenile hatchery coho showed a reduced tolerance to salt water compared to wild coho.”

Slaney, et al., 1993: “Hatchery adult steelhead strayed more than wild steelhead.”

Sosiak, et al., 1979:  “As juveniles, hatchery fish had less stomach fullness and fed on fewer taxa than wild fish.  This was determined after hatchery fish were in streams from one to three months.”

Steward et al. 1990: Authors reviewed 606 hatchery supplementation studies and found that few directly assessed the effects on natural stocks.  Genetic and ecological effects and changes in productivity of the native stocks that can result remain largely unmeasured.  However, the general failure of supplementation to achieve management objectives is evident from the continued decline of wild stocks.

Swain, et al. 1991:  Hatchery coho salmon diverged from the wild fish in fin size and body dimensions.  These were considered adaptations to the hatchery environment.

Taylor, 1986:  “Hatchery coho salmon diverged in body structure and variation from that of the wild coho.”

Vincent 1987: Hatchery stocking ended in a Montana stream and wild trout more than doubled (160%) and the wild trout biomass increased by 10 times.

Waples and Do 1991: Genetic interactions between hatchery and wild salmonids will increase as hatchery supplementation becomes a more dominate form of hatchery management.

Waples 1994: Hatchery captive brood stocks may shift genetic structure in natural populations.

Wohlfarth 1986: Stocking with hatchery stocks cannot replace wild productivity because hatchery fish are selected for adaptation to the hatchery environment and do not perform well in the natural environment.

Wood, et al., 1960: Hatchery coho salmon 14 months after release into a stream did not reach the body composition of the wild salmon in time for downstream migration and had lower ocean survival.


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* Citation is not peer-reviewed literature

** Citation is a sworn statement in a legal document

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