Re: NANFA-L-- hatchery salmon

Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- hatchery salmon
From: Bruce Stallsmith (fundulus at
Date: Tue Oct 12 2004 - 15:51:52 CDT

You're in Vermont, right? The efforts to restock Atlantic salmon in the
Connecticut River system have had notoriously poor results. Much of the
analysis as to why has to do with genetics, since salmon populations show
evidence of being micro-adapted to their natal streams and rivers. Like Dave
McNeely said, the evidence for this has been allozyme analysis, looking at
different proteins the fish are producing based on their genetic make-up.
Since Connecticut River-system salmon pretty much disappeared by the Civil
War because of river damning, more northerly populations have been used
without much effect. I spent a Saturday years ago watching river fish run up
through the Holyoke (MA) Dam in the glassed-in run. Plenty of alewifes,
blueback herring, striped bass and even lampreys but we only saw 2 salmon.
This was 5 or 6 years into the effort of the 1980s to restore that run. I
think a total of 880 salmon were viewed that year, 1988 (I think). And now
the surviving runs in Maine rivers are federally listed, kinda like shutting
the barn door after the horse is gone.

--Bruce Stallsmith
The glamourous Tennessee drainage
Huntsville, AL, US of A

>From: James Smith <jbosmith at>
>Reply-To: nanfa-l at
>To: nanfa-l at
>Subject: Re: NANFA-L-- hatchery salmon
>Date: Tue, 12 Oct 2004 16:24:05 -0400
>All salmon stocking that I know of are released as tiny little fry
>directly out of the hatching trays. They are hatched in river water
>with similar chemistry as where they're released, provided current
>with spray bars, etc. The only real difference between the trays and a
>shallow riffle is the lack of predators and the hydrogen peroxide to
>prevent fungus. I suppose the food is dead too which might make a
>difference, but at such a young age it's all instinct anyway...
>There's a place near the river here with a sign about the life cycle
>of atlantic salmon. Most of them die in the 3-4 years that they are in
>the ocean if I remember right.

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: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 11:27:44 CST