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Thread: Hb 220

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Hb 220

    Received this today from a concerned group. Thought some might want to follow up on this. Sounds bad to me.

    In the House Fisheries Committee, a new bill that could have long term impacts on our salmon runs was discussed. HB 220 would create a new permit for individuals to "enhance" wild fisheries stocks on a small scale in Alaska waters if area escapement goals or subsistence harvest goals have not been met, or if local stakeholders have identified a decline in a species of fish.

    We're concerned with this bill. The introduction of hatchery-incubated eggs into wild fish habitat poses risks to the overall health of a riverís wild salmon population. It has been a long running policy of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's hatchery program to minimize wild stock interactions in order to avoid damaging wild stock genetics.

    In a statement of opposition to the bill, one prominent Alaskan fisheries scientist highlights the well documented genetic problems that weaken wild stock when enhancement occurs: ďEnhancement increases the number of offspring of the broodstock used, so that the population ends up with a high number of closely related individuals. Successive generations of enhancement results in the majority of the population being highly related; this inbreeding can manifest genetic defects, and the loss of genetic diversity makes the population less able to adapt to environmental changes."

    In other words -- the widespread introduction of hatchery-incubated fish could seriously damage our wild salmon stocks.

    To be clear -- there was no evidence presented at the bill hearing that suggested existing hatchery and enhancement programs in the state are broken. Small pilot projects like the ones proposed in this bill are already allowed under a Research and Education permit. However, unlike that existing permit, HB 220 would create a program that assumes enough research and education has been done, and that widespread wild stock supplementation is the answer.

    HB 220 was presented as a potential solution to the chinook shortfalls that weíve seen on the Yukon, Kuskokwim, and other Alaskan rivers. While ACV believes that these shortfalls are a devastating problem for Alaskans, small-scale supplementation programs like these would likely have a negative effect on the overall health of the resource. For a chinook population thatís already beset by climate change, bycatch and other human factors, weakening its gene pool is a step in the wrong direction.

  2. #2
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Tanana Valley AK


    Was unable to get your links to work, Nerka, but looked it up:

    Looks like a bad idea to me too. A step in a dangerous direction.

    While this statement
    We are not talking about hatcheries because we donít want that. We are only interested in the recovery of wild stocks through with as minimal intervention as possible, to preserve the wild nature of our resource.
    excerpted from Mayo's testimony in favor seems innocent and laudable, I think the bill as written opens the door to all manor of potential future meddling. I think it's an ill executed idea.
    He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

  3. #3


    HB 220 would change the rules for resource extraction companies (likely the prime motive), and would enable the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to approve projects that destroy wild salmon habitat and replace it with hatchery-raised fish. This is a model that decimated salmon runs in the Lower 48.

    Just another lame step towards diminishing irreplaceable natural habitats.
    "Punish the monkey - let the organ grinder go" - Mark Knofler

  4. #4
    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Aberdeen WA


    Quote Originally Posted by Nerka View Post
    For a chinook population thatís already beset by climate change, bycatch and other human factors, weakening its gene pool is a step in the wrong direction.
    Rep coming your way!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
    The KeenEye MD

  5. #5


    Just say NO to increase spread of hatchery salmon in the state. Keep it WILD.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012


    Thanks Nerka. Write your letters, make your calls.


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