Hatchery Wild Interaction Project

In Alaska our hatchery programs for commercial fisheries are stakeholder driven and overseen by fishermen who strongly support Alaska’s mandate to protect wild stocks while enjoying the economic opportunities derived from renewable resources that are well managed.  The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) and private hatchery operators have recognized the need for a research program addressing concerns about escapement assessment, and genetic and ecological interactions between hatchery and wild stocks.

ADF&G organized a science panel composed of current and retired scientists from ADF&G, University of Alaska, aquaculture associations, and National Marine Fisheries Service. Panel members have broad experience in salmon enhancement, management, and wild and hatchery interactions.

The panel raised three priority questions:

1) What is the genetic stock structure of pink and chum salmon in each region?

2) What is the extent and annual variability in straying of hatchery pink salmon in Prince William Sound (PWS) and chum salmon in PWS and Southeast Alaska (SEAK)?

3) What is the impact on fitness (productivity) of wild pink and chum salmon stocks due to straying of hatchery pink and chum salmon?

The science panel designed a long-term research project to potentially answer some of the questions. A study plan was prepared and ADF&G solicited proposals from entities interested in conducting a research program to address interaction of wild and hatchery pink and chum salmon in PWS and SEAK.

The Sitka Sound Science Center in partnership with Prince William Sound Science Center is part of a $4.5 million, five year study on interactions between hatchery fish and wild salmon in streams around Southeast and Prince William Sound.

All information cited from Alaska Department of Fish & Game. For more overview of this project visit the ADF&G Hatcheries Research page.