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Improved Productivity of Naturalized Spring Chinook Salmon Following Reintroduction from a Hatchery Stock in Lookingglass Creek, Oregon

Jan 20, 2023


Supplementation of depressed salmonid populations with hatchery production has been questioned due to domestication effects, which may reduce reproductive fitness. However, for extirpated populations, reintroduction typically requires use of hatchery stocks. We evaluated this strategy by monitoring the naturalization of spring Chinook Salmon reintroduced to Lookingglass Creek, OR (Grande Ronde Basin) from a captive brood, hatchery stock. We compared the reproductive success (RS) of naturally spawning natural-origin (NOR) relative to hatchery-origin (HOR) adults across nine brood years. Individual RS (the number of progeny produced) was estimated by pedigree reconstruction analyses, and then analyzed by generalized linear models to estimate the effect of parental origin, while controlling for potentially confounding covariates. When evaluating RS by juvenile progeny, NOR spawners were more likely to be reproductively successful, and when successful, produced more progeny on average than successful HOR counterparts. We found a similar advantage when evaluating RS by adult progeny, although the origin effect was not as important among successful spawners. Results suggest fish reintroduced from a hatchery stock possess the adaptive capacity to positively contribute to natural productivity and recovery goals.


Hayley Nuetzel, Peter Galbreath, Benjamin Staton, Carrie Crump, Leslie Naylor, and Gene Shippentower


Nuetzel, H.M., P.F. Galbreath, B. Staton, C.A. Crump, L.M. Naylor, and G.E. Shippentower. 2023. Improved productivity of naturalized spring Chinook Salmon following reintroduction from a hatchery stock in Lookingglass Creek, Oregon. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 80(2):375-392. Online at



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Journal Article