Environmental Biology of Fishes

, Volume 94, Issue 1, pp 285–310 | Cite as

Strategies for reducing the ecological risks of hatchery programs: Case studies from the Pacific Northwest

  • Kathryn Kostow


The Pacific Northwest state and federal agencies and tribes that operate salmon and steelhead (Oncorhynchus sp.) hatcheries are authorized to develop and implement strategies to reduce the risks the programs pose to wild fish populations. This paper reviews five case studies from the states of Oregon and Washington, USA, where agencies and tribes have implemented or proposed programs that were intended to reduce ecological risks due to hatchery programs. The case studies are for Oregon coho salmon, Select Area terminal fisheries programs for Chinook and coho salmon in the lower Columbia River, Hood Canal chum salmon in Puget Sound Washington, Siletz River steelhead on the Oregon coast, and Okanogan River Chinook salmon in eastern Washington. The five case studies address a diversity of management objectives and species. They demonstrate some of the science and risk reduction strategies used to alleviate the ecological effects of hatcheries, and they document some of the results and outcomes of taking action. Elements of four of the case studies have been in place for nearly 20 years. The available science and the conservation ethic toward hatchery programs evolved significantly over this period, and management decisions and strategies have been influenced by public policy as well as by scientific information. Therefore the case studies also document some of the history, the evolution of ideas, the uncertainty, and the political controversy associated with the management of this risk factor. The paper concludes with six principles to help guide the development of future risk reduction programs.


Hatchery Ecological risk Salmon and steelhead Risk reduction 



I would like to thank the following persons for assisting with the preparation of this paper by providing data and other information, and by offering helpful discussion and reviews: Shari Beals, Berry Berejikian, Bob Buckman, Douglas DeHart, Craig Foster, Patti Goldman, Kevin Goodson, Thom Johnson, Mark Lewis, John North, Steve Sanders, Michael Schmidt, Steve Smith, Tom Stahl, Tim Tynan, Chris Weller, Jeff Whisler, and Derek Wilson. I would also like to thank the Wild Salmon Center and Todd Pearsons for inviting me to participate in their 2010 conference on Ecological Interactions between Wild and Hatchery Salmon.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oregon Department of Fish and WildlifeClackamasUSA

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