However, in the lab these fellas get a perfect scenario chance to survive.
In the wild, they are unable to compete or become easy targets of predators.
I worked in many controlled situations with three species of trout and two species of salmon. With millions of spawn come million of possibilities. Only under lab conditions do they have a chance to show up in the light of day!
I would be really concerned if any of these guys were found in large numbers in the wild. This would mean a drastic change in the ecosystem that would equate with predators that should pick off these "easy targets" no longer being present in the environment. Remember, compared to Mother Nature, Lab conditions are too artificial. :)”
Haastnooit on Feb 26, 2012 at 16:43:32
“I don't say or presume that it doesn't happen in normal conditions... but in this case a minimum of one in five and maybe even 2 out of 3 has a defect that makes it faulty and in the wild will be dead, trout-toast, no chance of survival and this is apart from the natural predators, threats that all the healthy once who screw up have and that make them part of the food-chain. If they were able to survive in the wild you could say that it's just the next evolution. I don't know what the numbers are in a creek that isn't polluted but I am all for testing a wider area and taking several baseline tests in areas considered healthy. Cause I am assuming that the odds used to be a lot better. But the facts about that I don't know”
“I agree completely Melissa.
I too have worked in the Aquaculture industry. I have been both a fish farmer (ie production) and a hatchery worker (gov conservation).I have seen many mutations and deformaties over the years. The largest production site, where I spent three years, would put over 4million fish out every year. I would see dozens of "hydras" a year but never more than 5-10cms long (before being culled). In conservation, we would do about 3 million eggs, not fish, per year. There we would see approx 20-25.
My real question: are large numbers of these deformaties making their way into the river system? As these are weak (weakER than their fellow fingerlings), where are the predators that should have easily picked these fellas off? The real concern would be in LARGE populations of this type made in into the ecosystem proving the lack of predators that prove a healthy ecosystem. This would demonstrate an imbalance, NOT Laboratory testing.”
“I have worked as an aquaculture technician for both production (ie the "evil" fish farmers) and provincial agencies here in Canada for close to a decade. Both fresh water hatcheries, production and conservation, will have trout and salmon BOTH that can occur in the eggs. Often they will hatch this way but due to their malformation do not survive to get to close to adult size. In fact, I can say with certainty that I have witnessed THIS CONDITION a few dozen times. In artificial systems, ie hatcheries, these individuals are culled to allow for the better health of the population.
This malformation happens in the wild more than we think. I would wonder IF the conditions in this watershed are now allowing larger numbers of malformed individuals to survive.
I am making this point not to conflict with the above article but to point out that it may not go deep enough.
IF (BIG IF) the watershed has been effected in such a way to allow a larger amount of these trout to survive: where are the predators (right from the egg up to adult size) that should be preying on these weaker individuals?
To sum up: these malformed fish are not new to anyone in the industry (production or conservation) but that fact that they are surviving to size IS!!!!!”