Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > 'Environmental Nightmare' After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm 08/24/17
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Gregory
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PostTue Sep 19, 2017 6:46 am 
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This interesting.Makes sense.This how I keep my Koi pond clear, pump the water to a bog and back to the pond, and it does grow some tasty greens.

http://www.news8000.com/news/local-atlantic-salmon-farm-is-the-first-of-its-kind-in-the-us/615170458

http://www.superiorfresh.com/
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PostSat Sep 23, 2017 10:38 am 
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Thursday September 21, 2017 15:38 PDT

WDFW FISHING RULE CHANGE 

Snohomish, Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers to close to pink salmon fishing


Action: Closes the Snohomish River, including the Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers, to the retention of pink salmon.

Effective Date: Sept. 22, 2017, until further notice.

Species affected: Pink salmon.

Reason for action: The rule is necessary to protect returning pink runs to the Snohomish River Watershed. In-season run-size assessments conducted by state and tribal co-managers indicate that pink run sizes are below the escapement goal in the Snohomish basin.

Other information: The Skykomish and Snoqualmie rivers are tributaries to the Snohomish River and will also close to the retention of pink salmon. The rivers will still be open to fishing for other species of salmon, with a daily limit of three coho. The Wallace River, another tributary to the Snohomish River, remains closed to all fishing. Check the 2017-18 Fishing Rules Pamphlet for specific regulations.

Information contact: Mill Creek Regional Office: (425) 775-1311.

-WDFW-

(* emphasis added *)

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Jim Mighell
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PostTue Sep 26, 2017 9:04 am 
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Earlier on NWHIKERS.NET (Trail Talk) I discussed my role as a Fishery Research biologist for U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service in Research on Mountain lake fish stocks in the Cascade Mountains. After reading part of the many entries in the topic of the escape of thousands of Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound from net pens located in the Sound, and the possible harm to other Salmon stocks in the Sound, I felt I should share my knowledge of the situation, based on my experience with Atlantic salmon.  In 1972, I obtained Atlantic salmon eggs from the Metolius Springs fish hatchery (sup’t. Gene Morton) where that species had been reared for many years by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife as a sport fish in Oregon for higher elevation waters. Due to urbanization, and many river barriers to migration in New England rivers,  Atlantic salmon returns were in poor shape; but I had found that the Oregon stock was actually anadromous (not landlocked), and since net pen rearing of coho and Chinook salmon was already well developed in Puget Sound, I proposed to rear Atlantic salmon from my stock at Seattle, in net pens at our field station at Manchester  WA. The proposal was accepted, and my project was the first rearing of Atlantic salmon in Puget Sound net pens; Publication “Net Pen Culture of Atlantic Salmon in Net Pens in Puget Sound”. From that program, we produced over 400,000 eyed eggs to be shipped to New England for Connecticut R. restoration efforts; however, the shipment was never made due to opposition to the use of hatchery fish for the restoration. Those eggs were then made available to a Norwegian Salmon farming group for use, where they apparently obtained the initial permits for Puget Sound rearing .
My broodstock allowed me to conduct research on the possibility that Atlantic Salmon (really a trout) could interbreed with Pacific Salmon. I found that they could not hybridize with any Pacific salmon (and I had all available for that cross) (there was no hatch success for any cross).  I also know that the chance of any runs being established in Puget Sound rivers, or any Cascade mountain snow runoff stream would be extremely difficult due to the fact they spawn in the fall, and their incubation period is shorter than Pacific salmon, thus putting the first feeding fry in waters that would be too cold to produce the food necessary for their survival.  I also found that Atlantics were nearly totally immune to the diseases that readily infected coho and Chinook salmon; however, they probably could be susceptible to virus agents that are common to west coast and interior waters, like IHN or IPN, or the European virus VHS. However those viruses never did show in the stock in my experiments.
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Sep 26, 2017 9:46 am 
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My reading of your info strongly implies that the hysteria over the recent escapes is not grounded in reality.

To wit, Atlantics don't spawn well here, they can't interbreed, and the disease issue is a non starter as well. These facts to me say that those choosing a standard of 'native' against which to judge such events don't have much of a leg to stand on. The Atlantics will die off anyway.


Quote:
From 1905 until 1935, in excess of 8.6 million Atlantic salmon of various life stages (predominantly advanced fry) were intentionally introduced to more than 60 individual British Columbia lakes and streams. Historical records indicate, in a few instances, mature sea-run Atlantic salmon were captured in the Cowichan River; however, a self-sustaining population never materialized. Similarly unsuccessful results were realized after deliberate attempts at introduction by Washington as late as the 1980s.[23] Consequently, environmental assessments by the US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the BC Environmental Assessment Office have concluded the potential risk of Atlantic salmon colonization in the Pacific Northwest is low.[24]

30 years and nearly 9 million fish didn't take, either

In this instance the desire for native piscine purity and the farming of Atlantic salmon in the Pacific Northwest are not mutually exclusive.

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Jim Mighell
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PostTue Sep 26, 2017 12:51 pm 
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I am significantly sure that they would not be able to colonize mountain origin streams, but may do to some degree in low elevation streams, from warmer climates at fry emergence (perhaps southern Chehalis system). The Cowichan system (B.C.) has produced some wild returns I've heard, possibly due to its origin on Vancouver Island (warmer clime) in my estimation. AS FAR AS FOOD QUALITY my wife and I have found it quite appealing from Costco (not sure if this because of packaging quality or feed quality during harvesting time (high carotenoid value from shrimp meal).
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Jim Mighell
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PostTue Sep 26, 2017 1:06 pm 
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I should add that some of my enthusiasm, or tolerance, would not apply If growers were to bring in strains of Atlantics from Europe, as those could lead to the VHS virus, which could be disastrous if Pacific salmon were found to be susceptible. The Strain that I worked on, came originally from Gaspe' Peninsula, Quebec, Canada. I know of no major disease for that strain on the west coast during the past 25 yrs (vibrio is a common salt water disease that has been vaccinated for since that vaccine was perfected by one of my colleagues at NMFS; but even that disease did not affect my pen-reared broodstock (unvaccinated).
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Sep 26, 2017 1:09 pm 
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It seems like with basic precautions like species selection such as you mention, farming should be an acceptable and accepted industry here.

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mike
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PostTue Sep 26, 2017 1:17 pm 
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Your study doesn't seem to address competition for food, predation on native fry, lice, feed waste, drug treatments, etc. Care to comment?
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Jim Mighell
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PostTue Sep 26, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Escaped fish will compete with native fish (salmonids primarily) for food, while they are in Puget Sound, if they move to the ocean its not likely that would be a problem; in the rivers, most fry are safe from predation by their behavior (shallows residence) until they reach smolt size, when they move quickly to the sound or ocean; but they are all susceptible to predation from resident bull trout, steelhead, rainbows, cutthroat; by their normal behavior, Atlantics would probably move back to sea, shortly after they spawned in the same manner as Steelhead, they would probably be less of a problem than kelt steelhead (voracious feeders on fry), as they would spawn in fall and early winter when there are very few fry in the streams.

Lice are a problem for all salmonids, drug treatments are often necessary to keep fish healthy when in captivity; close proximity does affect salmonids ability to ward off disease = all hatchery fish in the State hatchery system are likely, at some time, to need an antibiotic, or a short term chemical treatment to keep them alive. I know of no adverse effect on humans that eat those fish, when it has been 2-3 yrs since they were treated. Studies were conducted to determine adverse effects on the environment under net pens, many years ago, and there were adverse effects detected directly under the pens in those areas where there was little tidal exchange. I believe that was why Dom - Sea Farms moved their operations to Rich Passage years ago to avoid that effect - the only other possible effect would be nutrient addition to Puget Sound proper and it has not been determined if that would harmful or beneficial, as far I know.
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PostTue Sep 26, 2017 9:40 pm 
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My State Legislator, on August 30, 2017 wrote:
Governor Jay Inslee and Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz (who oversees DNR) have both stated that there will be no new net pens until the investigation into this incident is complete. Legislators are being updated regularly and we are looking at possible changes that can be made when the legislature meets again in January. In the meantime, multiple state agencies are investigating the incident and working to minimize impacts to wild salmon. You can find information on the pen break on the DNR website: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/

According the the August 29 update I found there "By the end of the work on Tuesday, Aug. 29, Cooke Aquaculture and the salvage contractor were able to remove three nets from the damaged Cypress Island Farm Site #2 and they removed 19,810 fish from the site. This brings the total number of fish removed from the site to 141,576. Before the site was damaged last weekend, it was stocked with 305,000 Atlantic salmon.... Tribal, commercial, and recreational fishers continue to recapture fish that escaped the enclosure and Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife is collecting data on those catches. Catches can be reported online here: http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/salmon/atlantic_catch_map.php " I'm afraid that map demonstrates just how widespread the fish already are.

(* message was delayed because they didn't use my correct mailing address. *)

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PostTue Sep 26, 2017 9:49 pm 
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Jim Mighell, thanks very much for your input.

It is the issues you do not mention that are of concern; specifically virii and parasites which may be transmitted to native stocks, neither of which I have seen addressed definitively.

As to the "adverse affects" in areas where there is "little tidal exchange", that might include a good portion of Puget Sound, which from my understanding takes about seven years to flush itself out.

The former owner of what is now that portion of the Nisqually delta now owned by the Nisqually Tribe, the late Mr. John ("Johnny") Mount, employed a professional diver who used an underwater camera to document the large body of sewage sludge that was sitting just offshore below the outlet of the Tatsolo Sewage Treatment Plant (just offshore from what is present-day DuPont, Washington.)
The "blob" (as he referred to it) was about 8-20 feet thick, about 40-60 feet wide, and a couple hundred feet long. It moved back and forth with the tide just a bit, but essentially remained stationary over the course of years.

Just one example of how slowly the water in some parts of the Sound moves.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Token Civilian
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PostWed Sep 27, 2017 8:09 am 
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I've read lots of "concerns" in this thread, in re lice, virus', etc.

For all the hand wringing on this, I'd like to hear, in scientific form (e.g. testable and falsifiable) predictions of the harm of this release:

That is, for those concerned about this release, state in a form that can be tested:

Example:

With weekly testing in rivers X, Y and Z, it shall be considered a "nightmare" if:

1)  More than XX% of tested native fish have lice, where XX% is some threshold above the pre-release natural levels of lice on native fish.
2)  More than YY% of test native fish are infected with virus ______.  Where YY% is some threshold above pre-relase levels of virus infection on native fish.
3)  Rivers X, Y and Z shall be monitored for establishment of Atlantic Salmon breeding.  If more than QQ threshold of breeding is detected, it shall be considered establishment of breeding stocks.
4)  Insert measurable, testable criteria of choice.
5)  If after ZZ time frame (3 months, 6 months, 2 years, etc) there is the above thresholds aren't detected, then it is not a "nightmare".

Instead of the above, what I've been hearing is a bunch of might happen, could happen, possibility, etc.  Folks have said this is a "nightmare".  OK, so, in concrete and testable terms, define that nightmare.
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MtnGoat
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PostWed Sep 27, 2017 9:32 am 
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Yes. Please. With *testable* concerns.

Not a stream of coulds, maybe's, possibly's, and risk's. Those apply to nearly anything always.

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PostWed Sep 27, 2017 3:29 pm 
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I call this the "nightmare" that benefited anglers. Finally, something with an adipose fin we can keep.

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PostSat Sep 30, 2017 4:49 pm 
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Friday September 29, 2017 17:01 PDT

WDFW NEWS RELEASE

Cowlitz, Green, North Fork Toutle rivers will close to chinook salmon fishing


VANCOUVER, Wash. – Starting Oct. 2, anglers will be required to release any chinook salmon they intercept on the Cowlitz, Green and North Fork Toutle rivers due to low returns of hatchery chinook.

State fishery managers at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) said the closures are necessary to ensure that enough fall chinook return to those rivers to support hatchery production during the coming year.

All three rivers will remain open to retention of other fish species, as listed in the 2017 Sport Fishing Rules.

"This was a tough decision for fishery managers, but we can't ignore the lagging chinook returns," said Dan Rawding, acting WDFW regional fish manager. "We have to think about producing fish for next year too."

According to the pre-season forecast, 3,900 hatchery fall chinook were expected to cross Barrier Dam this year, with a goal of collecting 1,900 fish for hatchery broodstock. So far, only 700 chinook have returned to the river, and Rawding said fish managers are now hoping to get 1,400 back to the hatchery.

The Cowlitz River remains open to fishing for coho salmon, summer steelhead, and sea-run cutthroat trout.

On the Green River, only 400 chinook have been collected this year out of an expected return of 1,000 hatchery fish. The broodstock goal is 800 fish at the hatchery, which produces chinook returning to the Green and North Toutle rivers.

Two other large Columbia River tributaries – the Kalama and the Washougal – will remain open to fishing for chinook salmon. There, too, chinook returns are lower than expected, but fishery managers still expect to meet hatchery broodstock goals on those rivers, Rawding said.

Rawding said WDFW will continue to monitor salmon returns in area rivers, and will consider reopening rivers to chinook fishing if returns improve in the coming weeks.

More information about these rule changes can be found on WDFW's website at https://fortress.wa.gov/dfw/erules/efishrules/

-WDFW-

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Forum Index > Public Lands Stewardship > 'Environmental Nightmare' After Thousands Of Atlantic Salmon Escape Fish Farm 08/24/17
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