Is CDFW doing anything to improve genetic diversity of planted steelhead?


by California Department of Fish & Wildlife
9-22-2022
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Q: Is CDFW doing anything to improve genetic diversity of planted steelhead?

A: Yes. CDFW follows recommendations from the Hatchery Science Review Group, requirements in Biological Opinions, and works with partner fisheries management agencies to develop Hatchery Genetic Management Plans (HGMPs). HGMPs, which are specific to each hatchery program, prioritize hatchery practices that ensure genetic diversity of the steelhead run is maintained or improved when possible. Under the HGMPs, CDFW has a target number of natural origin steelhead that are incorporated into the hatchery broodstock which ensures there is no genetic drift between hatchery and natural origin fish. These efforts coincide with assessing the run of steelhead to predict peak run timing. CDFW is making every effort to maintain genetic diversity and to keep the steelhead run sustainable for generations to come.

Hatcheries are constantly evaluating their practices and adopting the best scientific methods to maintain genetic diversity. Steelhead are produced to mitigate for construction of dams that blocked off historic spawning habitat and in order to sustain a healthy population in rivers such as the Russian, Feather and Mokelumne, to name a few, and to provide maximum angler opportunity while adhering to best hatchery management practices.

CDFW raises steelhead at several of its hatcheries including Warm Springs Fish Hatchery in Sonoma County, Nimbus Fish Hatchery in Sacramento County, and Mad River Fish Hatchery in Humboldt County.



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