National Fisherman


PARKDALE, ORE. — People on the West Coast have counted on fish hatcheries for more than a century to help rebuild populations of salmon and steelhead decimated by overfishing, logging, mining, agriculture and hydroelectric dams, and bring them to a level where government would no longer need to regulate fisheries.
 
But hatcheries have thus far failed to resurrect wild fish runs. Evidence showing artificial breeding makes for weaker fish has mounted. And despite billions spent on significant habitat improvements for wild fish in recent decades, hatchery fish have come to dominate rivers.
 
Critics say over-reliance on costly breeding programs has led to a massive influx of artificially hatched salmon, masking the fact that wild populations are barely hanging on and nowhere close to being recovered. Recently touted record runs were made up mostly of hatchery fish, and scientists are concerned that hatchery fish could completely replace wild fish —though state and federal officials say they are working to address the problem.
 
Now, the practice of populating rivers with hatchery fish rather than making greater efforts to restore wild runs is facing a battery of court challenges in Oregon, California and Washington state.
 
Read the full story at Bellingham Herald>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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