Northwest salmon hatcheries harm wild salmon populations, study finds
January 3, 2024
For much of the last century, fish hatcheries have been built in the Northwest, across the U.S. and around the world to boost fish populations where wild numbers have gone down.
But an analysis of more than 200 studies on hatcheries programs meant to boost salmonid numbers across the globe – including salmon, trout and whitefish – shows that nearly all have had negative impacts on the wild populations of those fish. Most commonly, hatchery fish reduced the genetic diversity of wild fish, leading to poor health and reproductive outcomes.
The findings weigh into a sensitive topic with a...