The Effects Of Hatcheries On Wild Salmon Populations Essay

1034 Words Nov 23rd, 2016 5 Pages
The Effects of Hatcheries on Wild Salmon Populations

Salmonids are perhaps one of the most prominent fish in freshwater systems such as streams and lakes. Their success can be widely attributed to their anadromous lifestyle. However, despite their success, salmonid populations are on a continuous decline. Many species such as Pacific Salmon in Washington, Oregon, and California are critically endangered, while some are threatened with extinction due to several different factors (Moyle and Cech, 2004). In the wild, habitat destruction and land transformation of salmonid spawning locations have detrimentally affected wild populations. Construction of dams alter flow regimes and flow rates and prevents anadromous salmon from reaching spawning sites. Another factor attributing to their decline is their high desirability due to their tremendous value as commercial fishes with excellent nutrient content. These anthropogenic factors are the main perpetrators of salmonid decline. To combat this decline, humans have begun constructing hatcheries to rejuvenate salmon populations and to supplement commercial fish production. Despite temporarily increasing salmon populations, hatcheries are also detrimental to salmonids because they reduce genetic variation by increasing homogeneity and attribute to the development of undesirable morphological adaptations. Hatcheries decrease beneficial genetic variation in salmonid populations due to geographic isolation. Aquaculture is held up to…

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