Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Salmon recovery in the Pacific Northwest : defining what constitutes a wild salmon Public Deposited

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  • In spite of considerable efforts to restore natural runs of anadromous salmonids in the Pacific Northwest, they remain at risk of extirpation. Along with many other factors influencing the decline, stocking from hatcheries over the past hundred years is often suggested to be a major cause. The listing of over two dozen runs of salmon under the Endangered Species Act has catalyzed a re-assessment of hatchery effects on naturally spawning salmon. Recent policies have placed a much greater emphasis on restoring runs of wild salmon rather than maintaining runs through stocking from hatchery production. Except at the most superficial level, there is no consensus about how to define "wild." Rather, there is a continuum of definitions for "wild" and each definition supports an implicit policy goal. The precise way in which "wild salmon" is defined potentially has profound policy implications. Ultimately, the choice of definition is a policy decision that incorporates science as one of several factors influencing the decision. A suite of options, often poorly articulated, for defining "wild" are available to policy makers who are selecting recovery goals. To test a subset of the available definitions of wild, I quantified the number of hatchery and naturally spawning salmon for 19 populations of Oregon coastal coho. "Wild" was defined by types 1 through 5 based on the number of hatchery fish released annually and the number of naturally spawning hatchery adults. As currently managed by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Oregon coast has a range of "types" of coho salmon. By clearly and explicitly defining "wild" as steps along a continuum, policy makers and managers can more effectively monitor and achieve specific salmon recovery goals.
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