Hood River Steelhead Genetics Study; Relative Reproductive Success of Hatchery and Wild Steelhead in the Hood River, Final Report 2002-2003.

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There is a considerable interest in using hatcheries to speed the recovery of wild populations. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), under the authority of the Northwest Power Planning Act, is currently funding several hatchery programs in the Columbia Basin as off-site mitigation for impacts to salmon and steelhead caused by the Columbia River federal hydropower system. One such project is located on the Hood River, an Oregon tributary of the Columbia. These hatchery programs cost the region millions of dollars. However, whether such programs actually improve the status of wild fish remains untested. The goal of this project was to ... continued below

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27 pages

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Blouin, Michael May 1, 2003.

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Description

There is a considerable interest in using hatcheries to speed the recovery of wild populations. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), under the authority of the Northwest Power Planning Act, is currently funding several hatchery programs in the Columbia Basin as off-site mitigation for impacts to salmon and steelhead caused by the Columbia River federal hydropower system. One such project is located on the Hood River, an Oregon tributary of the Columbia. These hatchery programs cost the region millions of dollars. However, whether such programs actually improve the status of wild fish remains untested. The goal of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Hood River hatchery program as required by the Northwest Power Planning Council Fish and Wildlife Program, by the Oregon Plan for Coastal Salmonids, by NMFS ESA Section 4(d) rulings, and by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Wild Fish Management Policy (OAR 635-07-525 through 529) and the ODFW Hatchery Fish Gene Resource Management Policy (OAR 635-07-540 through 541). The Hood River supports two populations of steelhead, a summer run and a winter run. They spawn only above the Powerdale Dam, which is a complete barrier to all salmonids. Since 1991 every adult passed above the dam has been measured, cataloged and sampled for scales. Therefore, we have a DNA sample from every adult steelhead that went over the dam to potentially spawn in the Hood River from 1991 to the present. Similar numbers of hatchery and wild fish have been passed above the dam during the last decade. During the 1990's 'old' domesticated hatchery stocks of each run (multiple generations in the hatchery, out-of-basin origin; hereafter H{sub old}) were phased out, and conservation hatchery programs were started for the purpose of supplementing the two wild populations (hereafter 'new' hatchery stocks, H{sub new}). These samples gave us the unprecedented ability to estimate, via microsatellite-based pedigree analysis, the relative total reproductive success (adult-to-adult production) of hatchery (H{sub old} or H{sub new}) and wild (W) fish for two populations, over multiple brood years. Our analyses of samples from fish that bred in the early to mid 1990's show that fish of 'old' hatchery stocks have much lower total fitness than wild fish (17% to 54% of wild fitness), but that 'new' stocks have fitness that is similar to that of wild fish (ranging from 85% to 108% of wild fitness, depending on parental gender and run year). Therefore, our results show that the decision to phase out the old, out-of-basin stocks and replace them with new, conservation hatchery stocks was well founded. We also conclude that the H{sub new} fish are leaving behind substantial numbers of wild-born offspring. The similar fitnesses of H{sub new} and W fish suggests that wild-born offspring of H{sub new} fish are unlikely to have negative genetic effects on the population when they in turn spawn in the wild. We will test this hypothesis once enough F2 offspring have returned. Another interesting result is that we were unable to match a large fraction of the unclipped, returning fish with parents from their brood year. Furthermore, we were missing more fathers than mothers. Because we sampled almost every possible anadromous parent, these results suggest that nonanadromous trout or precocious parr may be obtaining a substantial number of matings. Substantial reproduction by precocious parr could be one unintended consequence of the hatchery program.

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27 pages

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  • Report No.: DOE/BP-00009245-1
  • Grant Number: 9245
  • DOI: 10.2172/963019 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 963019
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928579

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  • May 1, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 7:44 p.m.

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Blouin, Michael. Hood River Steelhead Genetics Study; Relative Reproductive Success of Hatchery and Wild Steelhead in the Hood River, Final Report 2002-2003., report, May 1, 2003; Portland, Oregon. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928579/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.