State finds trouble with stray salmon

Posted: Wednesday, December 27, 2006

ANCHORAGE - Alaska's largest salmon hatchery operator has committed numerous violations, including a failure to control strays that can mix with wild salmon, according to state officials.

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Prince William Sound Aquaculture Corp., based in Cordova, has failed or refused to abide by its state permits, according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. State officials say the corporation has been uncooperative and failed to deal with the "large-scale straying" of hatchery-born pink and chum salmon.

The agency says strays can mix with wild salmon returning to their natal streams, potentially scrambling their genetic makeup or introducing disease.

Denby Lloyd, the state's commercial fishing director, said the state hasn't come to any conclusion about whether the straying is actually hurting wild salmon stocks.

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