Hatchery misfits

Scientists studying pink salmon in Alaska’s Prince William Sound have come to a startling conclusion: Female hatchery fish gone feral reproduce at only about half the rate of their wild cousins. The finding, if confirmed by further studies, could have broad implications for the management of mixed stocks of wild and hatchery salmon. Why hatchery fish perform so poorly in their natural environment is unknown, Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Chris Habicht said Friday. The agency researcher cautioned, as well, that the latest finding is based on data from only one reproductive cycle. The dismal spawning success of hatchery fish during 2014-2016 could be a statistical anomaly. Future studies could find higher returns and even out the results when averaged over the years. >click to read<21:41

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