|Document Type:||Journal Article|
|Title:||Genetic approaches to the management of Pacific salmon|
|Author:||Robin S. Waples, Gary A. Winans, Fred M. Utter, Conrad V. W. Mahnken|
The complex problems involved in managing Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) are largely a consequence of the unusual life history features of these species. The strong homing instinct leads to the formation of discrete, locally-adapted spawning populations, each of which has the potential to evolve as an independent evolutionary unit. It is important, therefore, that the genetic consequences of different management policies be carefully evaluated. If current management goals (e.g., doubling the abundance of anadromous salmonids in the Columbia River basin through increased hatchery production and supplementation of natural populations) are realized, genetic issues will assume even greater importance in the future. To date, however, genetic concerns have not been adequately incorporated into the management process. We identify three genetic approaches, primarily based on easily obtained electrophoretic data, that can provide valuable information on which to base management decisions:
(1) Using the Genetic Stock Identification method for identifying stocks contributing to oceanic, mixed-stock fisheries. Genetic Stock Identification has several advantages over traditional tagging methods, including cost-effectiveness and easy access to wild as well as hatchery stocks.
(2) Monitoring genetic changes in hatchery stocks. Analysis of the nature and magnitude of such changes is the best means of identifying stocks in which potentially dangerous levels of inbreeding may be occurring.
(3) Detecting mixtures of gene pools.
The ability to detect hybridization and introgression is necessary for an evaluation of the genetic consequences of releasing artificially propagated fish into the wild.