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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Salmon Hatcheries

By Jay Leo Baldwin


October 31, 2015
Saturday PM

The great Sacramento River and the Klamath River already have an endangered salmon fishery because of extensive use of salmon hatcheries. It is not only that there are too many, it is the fact that pond rearing juvenile salmon makes them lose their wild instinct to survive. They are hand fed at regular intervals automatically.
The pond boils with competition to get the feed at each feeding. After several months, the wild is gone. Sometimes they hold these fish in ponds a full year, a hold over type thing.

The tragic mistake is that releasing stupid fish to the environment causes in a few short years, an overpopulation of predators. The hatchery people compensate for their dismal returns by raising more juveniles. This increases the resistance to returns so they cat back and hope for the best. What's wrong with this picture? The wild fry.

The tiny little wild fry has to face the horde of monster predators when they migrate on the dark moon after the spring equinox. AFTER A FEW YEARS OF THIS, THE WILD FISH NUMBERS BEGIN TO DISAPPEAR AND BECOME ENDANGERED.

But the hatchery fish return faithfully and the hatcheries people fully believe that their scientific method is saving the salmon from extinction. Mixing salmon eggs in a bucket mongrelizes the species as it prevents the process of natural selection, and the salmon no longer have to fight for its life to get home to spawn. This results in smaller mature fish. You may check out the Derby winner sizes over the years and they are dwindling. The year I came to Ketchikan Ernie won it with a fish weighing 77 pounds. I saw it.

In is now time for the Native Population and Regional corporations to take action against the cause of the reduced numbers of salmon and their size. The state of Alaska and others who endorse hatcheries need to be taken to court and stopped. It is time for Alaska to get a Boldt decision and claim half the fish. Without salmon the Native Americans will not make it.

Some non Natives do not understand that the European invaders to the lands of the west, committed the greatest case of genocide the world has ever known, perhaps as many as 100 million people. Only 2% are left. And they have no voice or representation in the U.N. so they can't take it to the world court for Justice.

Jay Leo Baldwin
Lompoc, California


About: "Graduate Humboldt State/Journalism Author Salmon Ranching of the North Pacific by College of the Redwoods 1983 Author Indian Spirit Man 2015t Novel.
Resident Alaska 30 years Ketchikan and Wrangell, Business Owner 1970-77 Chairman 2nd Alaska Aquaculture Conference 1977 Sea Grant 77-7 "

Received October 28, 2015 - Published October 31, 2015

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