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Rely Less on Hatcheries

by Alex Uber
The Columbian, May 31, 2004

The May 22 Columbian story "Hatchery habitat hasn't helped," shows how little we have learned from the last century of managing salmon in the Pacific Northwest.

To equate wild salmon with hatchery salmon, or as Bob Lohn puts it, to "integrate" hatchery and wild salmon, is a very risky proposal. This has been shown to be the case through countless scientific studies. But biology aside, once all our salmon are produced in expensive, habitat-mimicking hatcheries, what will happen during economic hard times when budgets need to be trimmed to meet other priorities like schools and health care?

It makes much more sense to allow the fish to continue to do what they do best, with as little interference from humans as possible. Biologically and economically speaking, the less reliance on hatcheries, the better.

Alex Uber of Olympia
Species Won't Lose Federal Protection
The Columbian, May 31, 2004

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