NANFA-- define native fish

Jay DeLong (
Tue, 13 Mar 2001 19:40:40 -0800

Of interest to some of you I think.
Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

-------------------------------- 3-5-2001 From: Bill Bakke, Director, Native Fish Society 503 977.0287 The Oregon Legislators are trying to change the definition of native fish in order to defeat by political definition the protection of native, wild fish in Oregon and the fish listed under the Endangered Species Act. Their definition of native would allow carp among many other exotic fish to be listed as native. The following comments from scientists were requested to help ecologically challenged legislators to become better informed.

RESPONSES TO DEFINITIONS OF "NATIVE" FISH The following scientists were asked to respond to the proposed definition of "native" by the Legislature. The definition is found in numerous bills and some of them are HB 3038, HB 3001and LC 3432.

Steve Kuchas, Fish Biologist for the City of Portland ODFW's current Fish and Wildlife Habitat Mitigation Policy. They define "native" as "means fish and wildlife species, subspecies or populations that occur currently or historically in Oregon through natural (i.e., nonhuman) colonization or immigration, rather than by human action or intervention." That's a pretty good definition.

Dr. Richard N. Williams, Geneticist and past chairman of the Independent Scientific Advisory Board Research Associate Professor, University of Idaho Center for Salmonid and Freshwater Species at Risk Hagerman, Idaho Comments on proposed new definition for "native" species. The proposed definition, which expands the meaning of "native" to include fish naturally spawned or descended from Oregon indigenous species, is premature. The definition assumes that no difference (i.e., a biologically meaningful difference) exists between native wild fish (or species) and first generation (or later) descendents of naturally spawning fish regardless of their origin. At present most scientific literature fails to support this assumption, particularly with regard to fish produced through artificial production in hatcheries. A growing body of evidence suggests that hatchery produced fish (even first generation progeny) differ significantly from their wild counterparts in biologically meaningful characteristics such as age at sexual maturity, adult size, reproductive fecundity, and reproductive fitness. Much of the rebuilding goal for Columbia River salmon and steelhead is expected to be achieved through the use of hatchery-produced juvenile salmon and steelhead in supplementation projects where hatchery-produced returning adult salmon are expected to integrate themselves into a declining wild native population and assist in its rebuilding. These concepts and experiments are controversial. The results of these experiments are not known at present. Fisheries managers are optimistic about the expected results, while scientists and conservation biologists are skeptical. Until these experiments are completed and show that integration between hatchery and wild adults can occur without negative impacts on the wild population, it is premature to define fish that are " naturally spawned or naturally descended from a species indigenous to Oregon" as "native".

Dr. James Hall, Professor Emeritus, Oregon State University Hiram and I have talked about this a bit, and I put Stephen on it (actually he already was on it). Our first reaction is that the "or naturally spawned" is particularly egregious, as it would mean that every introduced species that spawns naturally in Oregon (carp, walleye, etc.) would be considered a native. And the way it is written, each of those clauses refers to the word "species" (not individuals); as such a "species naturally descended from a species indigenous to Oregon" is a nonsense. The easy answer is that the current definition is just fine.

Dr. Ken Currens, geneticist, N.W. Indian Fish Commission It is not clear to me what the process is here. Are we defining "native" to fit existing laws/administrative regulations? Or, are we are developing laws for managing native fish as a special kind of resource, which needs a more precise definition? The first approach seems backwards from a scientific point of view, but it certainly is not uncommon. The danger is that by its very structure, arriving at a definition can become more politically driven than science based. I don't think "native" has a scientific definition. However, in my experience in the natural sciences "native" is used synomously with "indigenous," which scientifically means that it is a genetic lineage that occurs naturally in an area and is not introduced. This use of native by scientists is supported in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. As a reference for Oregon, I would use the time and place that fishes were at when Lewis and Clark made their journey, as this represents one of the first major documentations of fish distribution for Western scientific purposes. In my opinion, "native" ...excludes anything introduced (e.g. shad, brook trout, coastal rainbow trout east of the Cascades, yellow perch, etc.) ...excludes fishes that have hybridized with introduced fishes or varieties (although these are descended from native fish) ...does not exclude fish that have been in hatcheries as long as they are the same genetic lineage and in the same area. I think it is biologically untenable to use the same definition for fish as for people. The common use of "native" for humans is based on the location of birth and does not exclude the possibility of foreign origin in previous generations. This is because it includes the idea of membership in a local cultural, where thoughts, beliefs, symbols, and behavioral patterns can be transmitted nongenetically because you were born in an area as part of a community. Fish do not have cultures. Consequently, this use of native is entirely inappropriate for fish (dare I say stupid?) unless it is part of a Ray Troll cartoon. The definition of native for organisms without cultures has to be much more restrictive and based on genetic lineage. I hope that helps.

Lance Kruzic, fish biologist Whether a species spawns naturally or not is not relevant to whether it was native in Oregon. As you know, there are numerous species that occur and spawn in Oregon waters that were not in Oregon 100 + years ago. They were introduced since the 1850's. Among other things, the proposed definition would make brook trout, crappie, carp, shad, catfish, bluegill, and walleye "native" species in Oregon. These species are not native to Oregon. They were found naturally in other parts of the USA or in other countries. In addition, under the proposed definition you could consider all naturally-spawning hatchery fish as "native", which may not be the case.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS FROM SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE Sharpe, Cameron, Pat Hulett, and Chris Wagemann, scientists evaluating hatchery and wild anadromous fish performance in natural streams. Study Title: 2000. Genetic analysis of Kalama River summer and winter steelhead: discrete population structure permits partitioning of hatchery and wild smolts among spawner groups. Report # FPS 00-10. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, Washington. Quotes: The primary objective of Kalama research to date has been to assess the relative reproductive performance and contribution of hatchery and wild steelhead spawning in the wild. For the purposes of this report, wild fish are defined as naturally produced fish, regardless of ancestry, and hatchery fish are those spawned and reared for some portion of their life in the hatchery environment. Earlier Kalama work focused on evaluating reproductive competence of highly domesticated, non-locally derived stocks of hatchery fish using a genetic mark approach. Hatchery fish, of both summer and winter-run races, were selectively bred so that smolt cohorts released in the basin had high frequencies of otherwise uncommon alleles. When those smolts returned as adults, they were screened for the marker alleles and then allowed upstream to spawn among themselves or with wild fish. An increase in the frequency of the marker alleles in the subsequent naturally produced generation was an indication that the hatchery fish did successfully reproduce. The magnitude of the increase was an index of how successfully they reproduced relative to the wild fish. Natural production by hatchery fish was found to be much lower (on a per spawner basis) than that of wild fish: recent analyses indicated that reproductive success of hatchery fish (to the adult stage) averaged approximately 16% and 8% of that of wild Kalama steelhead for summer-and winter-run fish respectively. Findings from recent analyses agree qualitatively with previous published work. The results demonstrate the utility of mixed stock production analysis for estimating smolt production of sympatric population and also show limited reproductive success of hatchery fish spawning naturally. The latter corroborates findings from earlier work by the Kalama Research Team. Upstream: Salmon and Society in the Pacific Northwest, 1996, National Research Council (A study requested by Senator Mark Hatfield) "Sustained productivity of anadromous salmon in the Pacific Northwest is possible only if the genetic resources that are the basis of such productivity are maintained." "The continual erosion of the locally adapted groups that are the basis of salmon reproduction constitutes the pivotal threat to salmon conservation today." "Most of this report's conclusions and recommendations about hatcheries, fishing, and habitat rehabilitation are founded on the importance of maintaining appropriate diversity in salmon gene pools and population structure, which has not been adequately recognized."

REVIEW OF ARTIFICIAL PRODUCTION, Scientific Review Team, Independent Scientific Advisory Board Power Planning Council Council Document 99-4, 1999 Evidence of Domestication in Salmonids: "...evidence of behavioral and physiological changes in hatchery populations compared to wild populations is increasing. Early studies of domestication found evidence of behavioral change in captive brook and brown trout populations. ( Vincent, 1960; Green, 1964; Moyle, 1969; Bachman, 1984). Petersson et al. (1996) documented the change in morphology and life history of a hatchery strain of Atlantic salmon over 23 years. Likewise, Kallio-Nyberg and Kolijonen (1997) found that growth rate and age of maturation in Atlantic salmon changed over several generations in a hatchery." "In steelhead, Reisenbichler and McIntyre (1997) found that progeny of hatchery fish only two generations removed from the wild survived in the wild only 80 percent as well as wild fish, but in the hatchery environment hatchery fish survived better. Flemming and Gross (1989, 1992, 1993, 1994) and Fleming et al. (1996) documented changed behavior and decreased reproductive success of hatchery Atlantic salmon and coho salmon in artificial spawning channels compared to wild fish. Swain and Riddell (1990) concluded that greater aggressive behavior of juvenile hatchery coho salmon than wild fish reared under the same environment was because of domestication selection. Compared to naturally spawning wild steelhead in the same stream, Chilcote et al. (1986) and Leider et al. (1990) found that naturally spawning hatchery steelhead were about 10-30 percent as successful in producing surviving smolts and adult progeny as wild fish. The hatchery stock used is this study, however, was not native to the stream and was of mixed ancestry. Consequently, the reproductive success of this stock reflects more than domestication effects." "Since their inception, hatcheries have been operated as agricultural enterprises that strived for biological independence from one or more of the ecological processes that fish face in rivers and streams (Bottom 1997)." Management policy dictates the manner in which hatcheries are employed. Management policy affects what genetic stocks are used, the breeding protocol, and where and in what numbers hatchery fish are planted." " is expected that a hatchery program will produce more smolts per spawner than natural production. The magnitude of this relative advantage is on the order of 10-fold, but this advantage is restricted to the hatchery phase. It is quite a different story when considering success in the post-release phase of the life cycle. Hatchery fish experience substantially less survival success in the wild. "There was consensus among the three panels ( Independent Scientific Group, National Research Council, and National Fish Hatchery Review Panel), which underscores the importance of their contributions in revising the scientific foundation for hatchery policy. The ten general conclusions made by the three panels are listed below. 1. Hatcheries generally have failed to meet their objectives 2. Hatcheries have imparted adverse effects on natural populations 3. Managers have failed to evaluate hatchery programs 4. Rationale justifying hatchery production was based on untested assumptions 5. Supplementation should be linked with habitat improvement 6. Genetic considerations have to be included in hatchery programs 7. More research and experimental approaches are required 8. Stock transfers and introductions of non-native species should be discontinued 9. Artificial production should have a new role in fisheries management 10. Hatcheries should be used as temporary refuges, rather than for long-term production

/----------------------------------------------------------------------------- /"Unless stated otherwise, comments made on this list do not necessarily / reflect the beliefs or goals of the North American Native Fishes / Association" / This is the discussion list of the North American Native Fishes Association / To subscribe, unsubscribe, or get help, send the word / subscribe, unsubscribe, or help in the body (not subject) of an email to / For a digest version, send the command to / instead. / For more information about NANFA, visit our web page, </x-flowed>