Scientist says hatchery strays could threaten wild fish populations

pink salmon
Photo: NPS

 

Whether it’s thanks to environmental cues, a keen sense of smell or a nifty magnetic instinct, Pacific salmon’s ability to navigate back to their home streams has captivated scientists and the general public alike.

But, contrary to popular notions, a small number of Pacific salmon stray from their predetermined paths every year. And now, a new study found that hatchery salmon that wander from their home stream could pose an additional danger to their wild counterparts.

Scientists have long warned that hatchery strays compete with wild fish for resources in streams and ocean waters, and could threaten wild populations by mixing genetically with them in unfavorable ways.

The new findings suggest hatchery strays pose an additional threat: Their presence in some streams contributes to low-oxygen conditions that culminate in die-offs before they can reproduce.

LINK (via: Alaska Dispatch News)

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