Letter to the Editor: Saving Wild Salmon

Saving Wild Salmon

We use to call salmon “salmon” but now we have to specify if they are wild or hatchery salmon. Hatchery salmon is THE BIG EXPERIMENT to see if they will either save or destroy our wild salmon. The degree to which they genetically impact wild salmon will decide if they help or harm them. Currently the ADF&G does not believe hatchery salmon will harm wild salmon.

Juvenile salmon hormone levels generate hatching, imprinting, smolting, feeding, size and spawning. Abnormal hormone levels result in minimum hatching, imprinting, smolting, feeding, size and spawning. Normal hormone levels result from an intact wild DNA genome. Hatchery salmon environments directly cause DNA genome degradation, which then results in abnormal salmon hormone levels. Those abnormal levels can then degrade a salmon’s migratory instincts and cause them to appear to drop off the map.

This all means that hormonal changes can reset a salmon’s migratory alarm clock along with changing its navigation and imprinting instincts. Those kind of radical changes can make entire salmon run collapse or disappear at sea. Hatchery salmon need to have their genomes examined and compared to the wild salmon genome BEFORE being allowed to mix with wild salmon. Any salmon type which does not maintain the wild salmon genome standard should be classified as an “invasive hatchery salmon” and not be allowed to reproduce with wild salmon. Currently the ADF&G has this wild salmon genome information for many locations but it lacks a desire, mandate or funding to enforce such a standard on hatchery salmon.

It took nature thousands of years allowing only the strongest to survive to produce today’s wild salmon. Hatcheries work to destroy that strength by allowing the weakest to survive and thereby corrupting that strength. Each hatchery salmon that enters the environment helps dilute wild salmon genetic strength by reproducing with wild salmon. Make no mistake this “long-term genetic corruption” is plainly being allowed by the ADF&G so humans can “short-term profit” from the marketing of weak salmon. If the ADF&G continues to ignore invasive hatchery salmon, and does not enforce a wild salmon genome standard on them, there eventually won’t be any wild salmon left to save.

— Donald Johnson, Soldotna

More in Opinion

Kenai Mayor Brian Gabriel (File)
Voices of the Peninsula: The city of Kenai is here for you

The future may seem uncertain, but we will manage through this

Ryan Smith, South Peninsula Hospital CEO. (Photo courtesy of South Peninsula Hospital)
Point of View: South Peninsula Hospital is preparing for pandemic

“Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.”

Dr. Tamika Ledbetter, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, participates in a press conference in Anchorage, Alaska, on March 31, 2020. (Courtesy photo)
Alaska Voices: State working to address Alaskans’ unemployment needs

As of the week ending March 21, the department processed 13,774 new claims.

The Alaska State Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Alaska Voices: It’s time for a spending cap that works

It is essential to minimize uncertainty and prioritize stability.

The Capitol is seen as House lawmakers prepare to debate emergency coronavirus response legislation on Capitol Hill, Friday, March 27, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Voices of the Peninsula: Cash payments give Americans crucial economic support

Cash payments put Americans in the driver’s seat because they are empowered to decide how to spend it

Gov. Mike Dunleavy (courtesy photo)
Opinion: Standing behind our state workers

Whatever hardship Alaskans face, the business of the state must go on.

A sign outside of RD’s Barber Shop indicating that they are closed can be seen here in Kenai, Alaska on March 25, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Voices: Support your local business!

The actions we take now can help sustain these enterprises over the next few weeks.

Adam Crum
Alaska Voices: Alaskans are experts at social distancing and helping others

Most of us have never heard of anything like this, much less been asked to do it.

Alaska Voices: We will get through this together

We understand what a challenging and unprecedented time this is for Alaskans.… Continue reading

Most Read