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Anglers understand threat from hatchery fish
I was surprised to read your “confession” in this week’s issue of the Snoqualmie Valley Record. In general, I believe your editorials are well balanced and factually accurate. This editorial seems neither to me.
The “conservationists” you refer to are our neighborhood fish scientists in Duvall, the Wild Fish Conservancy. There is both good science and the force of law behind their successful lawsuit against the current practices of steelhead hatcheries in Washington.
The vandals who took the law into their own hands at the Tokul Creek hatchery are misguided at best, and do not deserve your implicit support.
Most of the steelhead fishermen I know (and I am one) have not understood the threat to the fish they love, which the hatcheries represent. Declines in steelhead returns to rivers like the Snoqualmie are not primarily due to hatcheries, but we now know that they are a part of the problem and have helped accelerate the decline.
Most fishermen I know love the fish they catch and do all they can to make sure their kids get to catch them through their lifetimes, too. Supporting current hatchery practices makes that less likely.