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Thread: Hatcheries

  1. #1
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    Default Hatcheries

    I lifted this from Eddie McCarthy's weekly report. Reminds me of the late Peter Gray.

    "As I was going about various chores this week I kept feeling that there was something missing. it then dawned on me that I would normally be setting up the Hatchery ! For some reason "science" decided that hatcheries were now a bad thing ! What I do know is that the Hatchery kept the Thurso river alive for many, many years. When the netting in the Estuary ceased in 2006 there was less need for it as there were more fish entering the system. However, the mass "extinction" of the Hatchery system is not only wrong but particularly stupid. Sure, there were hatcheries where the workers were bone idle and planted fry out in areas where there were plenty natural fry. But, most Hatcheries operated as they were meant to and fed the areas where there was a lack of fish spawning. I fear that we are becoming too clever for our own good and take the "science theory" over the word and experience of people who have worked on rivers for their lifetimes. As "science" can never be wrong, I wonder how, in twenty or so years, when the salmon population is almost decimated for other reasons, they will have to concede that they got it wrong and re-introduce the Hatchery system !!!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    N W Highlands
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    Default

    Up to recent my opinion tended to be against hatcheries.
    I knew of the Thurso's operation and success through fishing there and meeting Eddie. Still I was sceptical. Now a few years further along I am beginning to think that hatcheries are beginning to look like the last remaining hope for our beleaguered salmon.
    Previously I was concerned about maintaining the gene identity of each system. Now I am totally concerned about retaining salmon at all in our rivers. I won't bore anyone by recounting tales of large numbers from my youth.
    A properly run hatchery operation can enhance a river and rescue it from oblivion that much I recognise, the side issues of individual river gene purity are melting away against a need to save to our salmon no matter the cost.
    Or, do we have a total ban for a fixed period in the hope that the salmon recover ?

    M
    Last edited by HOWKEMOOT; 28-10-2019 at 09:42 AM.
    Start ankle deep with a short line, all wild fish go back

  3. #3
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    Mar 2008
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    Default

    Science like most things in life agrees with those that pay it. If hatcheries made money then they would be on all rivers but as they cost money most river boards will be against them.
    Personally I would like to see one on our river. The Tay board does a lot of work for the Earn socking the head waters but would prefer stock placed further downstream.
    Having said that I still think that the biggest problem we have is the amount of F.E.B.s on the river Which is something we could deal with.
    Bob.

  4. #4

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    It seems that there is no consensus, nor does it seem there will ever be, on the hatchery issue. But that is life. We have different opinions on everything from Brexit to abortion to euthanasia. No amount of words or shouting is likely to change the opinions of both sides of any argument and hatcheries are no different.

    In my own personal view of a hatchery, the idea that I have in my head, is that a river could be stocked until such times as the river is able to sustain itself. Based on the science, I have not seen one instance where this has been achieved.
    One of the best skills that an angler can ever develop is knowing the difference between passing the time and wasting it!

  5. #5
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    May 2018
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    Mid Wales
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by HOWKEMOOT View Post
    Up to recent my opinion tended to be against hatcheries.
    I knew of the Thurso's operation and success through fishing there and meeting Eddie. Still I was sceptical. Now a few years further along I am beginning to think that hatcheries are beginning to look like the last remaining hope for our beleaguered salmon.
    Previously I was concerned about maintaining the gene identity of each system. Now I am totally concerned about retaining salmon at all in our rivers. I won't bore anyone by recounting tales of large numbers from my youth.
    A properly run hatchery operation can enhance a river and rescue it from oblivion that much I recognise, the side issues of individual river gene purity are melting away against a need to save to our salmon no matter the cost.
    Or, do we have a total ban for a fixed period in the hope that the salmon recover ?

    M
    Gene purity? Surely all our rivers are visited regularly by Salmon with an array of different genes from different rivers, Genetic purity is a hoax.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    UK
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    Default

    Hatcheries!!? ...Stocking!!?...total abomination....or lifeline to struggling populations of salmonids?
    We have been doing 'fish husbandry' since before Caesar turned up with his elephants and Nubian cavalry.
    In 1903 Nth Uist received 120,000 salmon ova for 'distribution'...and many other sites likewise bought ova and later hatchlings from Maitland's Howietoun Fishery at Stirling. This was the source of New Zealand's trout and probably those of the rest of the Empire .
    You are right , water boards don't like 'expensive', hard to justify smolt, parr, ova programmes.
    What these programmes do deliver is greater emotional and ultimately practical attention to the stream and its environment. Such attention is as important as the possible returns of the farming effort. The community and those who fish the river feel 'invested'. A river with a hatchery encourages others to visit , to fish, to stay. A hatchery is like a share's dividend; not always affordable but always popular, offering a chance of a return. It will pay if only obliquely .
    Read Malcolm Greenhalgh's piece on stocking in Fly Fishing and FT Nov 2019...it's rather agin hatcheries as far as the Ribble is concerned but does make a wise suggestion of 'ranching' smolts as in Iceland . Have smolt ponds and cart the smolts to be released at the mouth of the river...they dodge the cormorants and saw bills of the river, the drought of May/June or slurry/sludge/chemical runoff from intensive farms or leaky, underimproved sewage plants.
    If you get a 1% return from 100k smolts that's 1000 returnees you'd not have otherwise.
    I think the Wye would have liked that this year!

  7. #7

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    In my life time the only rivers that will have a enough salmon left to fish for them will be rivers with hatcheries of that I am sure, they need to be on rivers now so they can preserve the unique Genetics of the river, as the other issues are taken care of like predation and netting the revenue of the river by anglers who can actually catch something and see fish should be used to fund them, of course the short sightedness of a greedy few have no interest, we rant about catch and release but without significant help to boost numbers the money will be out of the game, catch and release and predator culls are fine once a river is financially sustaining itself, when the moneys gone out of salmon fishing unfortunately man moves on to something else to destroy.



    Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
    Last edited by rotenone; 28-10-2019 at 01:12 PM.

  8. #8
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    Stirling
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    The hatchery discussion is a non starter with no end game. Government has seen to that.
    Whether you support or oppose the idea, it matters not a jot particularly in Scotland where Scotgov/MSS have conspired to close all hatcheries to all intent and purposes by narrowing the parameters within which River Boards must comply. No main stem or tributary stocking is legally allowable nowadays, but only for restoration and mitigation, i.e. above man made structures or seeding newly opened and developed areas which in itself is controlled by S.N.H. red tape bureaucracy. In the Tay catchment that covers 5% of the hatchery output. So, there is little point in even discussing the subject matter.
    Couple it with government control on piscivore culls then the salmon has a very gloomy future which is little to do with the "All At Sea" brigade.
    Last edited by keirstream; 28-10-2019 at 01:26 PM.
    Respect My Authorita!!

  9. #9
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    When in the early 1960s MAFF declared salmon extinct in the Ouse system I thought that I should never see salmon in Yorkshire ever again. The river on which my grandfather learned his fishing was no more.

    Then the world changed. Thatcherite economics did away with highly polluting industries that had limped for decades with public subsidies. Unleaded petrol yielded the closure of the plant on the Humber that made the lead additive for old petrol. Privatisation and the passage of the Crown Proceedings Act 1984 forced entities that had previously been sheltered from litigation and prosecution blinking into the daylight of responsibility, especially the water companies and other nationalised industries. And beyond, EU regulations on water quality started to come into force: not universally effective, but better than what (hadn't) gone before.

    We awoke in the mid-90s to a river system that no longer suffered gross pollution and de-oxygenation of its lower reaches. For the first time in decades it was physically possible for a salmon to swim up to York. It's likely that there had always been a few hardy survivors, but once the water was clean, the salmon came. One person found a dead spent 35lbs cock fish in a side stream; then another photographed a stream of fish going up Boroughbridge weir with a laser activated video camera; and then the pike fraternity started catching them. And behold, in 2011 I started catching them in quantity on a fly at an average of nearly 2 per day, including a few at 20+lbs.

    The micro hatchery the came more recently to replace the spawning area lost to reservoir development played no core role in this recovery. They came back on their own.

    Yes, we had some significant advantages. First, and most importantly, very clean catchment areas for spawning, much of them within the boundaries of a National Park. Second, our smolts don't have to migrate through the lice fog off the west coast of Scotland. Indeed, we suspect that some of our smolts migrate no further than the North Sea. Third, a truly enormous estuary that disperses smolts and adults alike, making them a harder target for predators. And a collection of people who really cared and were ready to put their effort and money to use.

    No, the Ouse is not the Tweed or Tay, nor will it ever be. But its catchment is twice the size of the Tweed's, so there is potential there. After all, in the 1927 season the then Lord Bolton caught one ton of salmon to his own rod from the aptly named Lord's Pool at the bottom of his park.

    So my prescription is clean headwaters and maximum accessible spawning area as the essential first steps. A hatchery might enable the achievement of critical mass, but without those steps any effort is wasted.

  10. #10
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    What was the salmon rod catch in 2018?

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