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Thread: Pink Salmon Stocking: Why??

  1. #1
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default Pink Salmon Stocking: Why??

    Facts:
    -Hatcheries release ~900 million pinks into state waters annually
    -Only the seine gear group can make any money fishing pinks
    -Pinks primarily eat small fish (like kings and silvers) when they attain a large enough size
    -Pinks are the most prolific salmon species in coastal areas
    -Pinks are the most likely to stray from their native streams

    Speculations:
    -There is a carrying capacity for salmon in the north pacific and the amount of humpys being pumped into it is adversly affecting the survial and growth rates of coho and chinook salmon
    -A smaller number of coho, chinook, or sockeye salmon could be produced at the pink hatcheries generating more exvessal value, as well as more sport fishing opportunites
    -Pinks don't need any help from the hatcheries to be avalible in fishable numbers to those gear groups that wish to fish them

    Comments??
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  2. #2
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    Default

    I've wondered the same thing. I assume their is a logical reason for it, maybe we'll hear it.

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Default

    Hopeful Mike Strahan will weigh in on this one - if memory serves, he has broached this issue a few times.

    It seems to me like the Hatcheries are simply a self-perpetuating business. They release tons of fry so that they'll come back, at which point they will do a cost-recovery fishery in order to pay their bills, which of course will go towards raising another generation of fish. It's a cycle that seems to serve no other purpose than supporting the hatcheries and the few jobs they sustain. It is absolutely bizarre that this is done with so little (none?) scientific foundation. It truly defies reason, especially when they end up dumping so many fish every year.

    But hey, the ocean is a really big place... (or reasoning somewhere along those lines.) Sheesh....

    -Brian

  4. #4
    Member Milo's Avatar
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    Default Valdez

    What I never understood was why the sport fishing limit on pinks in Valdez is only 6/day. Everytime I'm down there, there is an incredible number of pinks that are going to just stink up the place. I don't want them, but there are always people down there who are keeping their 6 fish limit. If the hatcheries are going to dump that many fish in there, let people keep them if they want them. What would it hurt to raise the limit to something like 20 or 30 fish per day. Its a stocked run and its well inside the area closed to commercial fishing. The hatchery is going to get enough eggs to keep running. You could always raise or lower it by EO if they had to.

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    Member fishNphysician's Avatar
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    Thumbs down makes no sense

    Makes no sense whatsoever. Those pinks need no "help" from the hatcheries. It really amounts to nothing more than commercial-scale fish ranching. Hard to imagine what the impact of bazillions of artificially-reared pinks might have on the ocean pasture, but as we well know, the carrying capacity out there is NOT unlimited. But hey, the salmon sharks are sure happy every July and August.

    Here in Puget Sound/Hood Canal (WA), they raise chums by the bazillions as well. The commercial value for the meat is pretty pathetic. A sport fishery targeting them has bloomed, but most folks don't eat them. The biggest beneficiaries are the Indian tribes that gillnet them almost strictly for the eggs... bucks are dumped back overboard. Then hens are stripped of marketable roe before they are dumped as well. Seems the state of Alaska set a precedent down a similar path when they allowed the stripping of pink hens a couple years back.

    As a side note, water quality in Hood Canal has deteriorated to the point of creating massive recurring "dead zones" that wipe out every oxygen-breathing critter that swims thru it. The excessive mass dumping of rotting salmon carcasses is a big contributor to algal blooms that consume the available dissolved oxygen... none left for the fish!
    "Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
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    The KeenEye MD

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    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    so can anyone think of a reason besides seiners having the most money and pinks are the easiest to raise in a hatchery to stock pinks? If not write your senator please.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

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    Member tyrex13's Avatar
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    Humpy's are stupid and should be fished to extinction.

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    Default Defending Pink Salmon

    I agree that stocking pink salmon in PWS is not in the best interest of the State. It came about when pink salmon were selling for 50 cents a pound or more and the money was going to flow. However, price dropped and the hatcheries are in money trouble - large loans so people keep thinking this will work out - probably not.

    However, I need to defend pink salmon. They are a biological marvel and are more advanced than chinook, coho, and sockeye. They have evolved a life history that reduces freshwater mortality, they grow fast, and return to spawn without extra years out in the ocean. An animal that deserves respect.

  9. #9
    Member ak_powder_monkey's Avatar
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    Default

    A bit of history:

    When the 64 earthquake happened it basically destroyed the salmon runs in PWS because the land got up lifted by about 12 feet and destroyed spawning beds thats why the hatchery system was inacted. Nowadays though someone should put a plug in the pink output and shift to other more profitable species. But PWSAC does whats easy not what will make fishermen money.
    I choose to fly fish, not because its easy, but because its hard.

  10. #10

    Default Life cycle of a salmon

    My understanding is that it has to do with the life cycle of the salmon, and the cost to produce each one. Kings and sockeye may fetch the highest ex-vessel prices, but they also require several years in freshwater. Remember that dogs and humpies go straight out to sea after the eggs hatch, instead of spending multiple years in freshwater. For a hatchery to maintain fry in a temperature controlled environment year-round for several years until they are old enough to go to sea, while keeping the fish disease-free during that time is VERY expensive. Those fish also require much larger pens as they get older, and all that adds to the expense of readying them for the saltwater. Because dogs don't spend any time in freshwater, they have the highest return-on-investment, even though their meat may be nearly worthless. That's why the hatcheries produce more chum than anything else. Not exactly sure about the pinks, but my understanding is that there are far more chum than pinks produced by the hatcheries (like NSRRA SSRA and DIPAC) every year.

    As a sport fisherman, it would be great to see more kings, cohos and sockeye. As a commercial fisherman, bring on the dogs...

  11. #11
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    Smile Looking ahead. . .

    Last night's ABC news featured a piece on a new style of fish-farming in deep water. Shallow-water fish farms are a fact of life at this point as are stocked runs of one kind or another. The ABC reporter noted that 40% of the fish being consumed today is farmed.

    Mankind has learned to farm the land. Personally, I see all such efforts as stocked pinks as being somewhere on man's learning curve to "farm" the oceans of the world.


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