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The Life of Fish Hatchery

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The Life of Fish Hatchery

By: Anh-Thu Ngoc Vu

On July 12, 2016, I had a chance to visit a place called Wallace Fish Hatchery located at Snohomish County in Washington. Fish hatcheries were established in 1800’s, to enhance the number of fish in streams, lakes where the native fish populations were declining due to changes in the natural environment. Natural environment mean the drought, flood, habitat destruction or human influences according to Recreation of Gov. Fish hatchery is a facility design to raising baby fish and prepare them when it comes to release into another environment. According to Jenison who is the manager of the Wallace River Hatchery states “we are here to making sure the health of fish before they ready to move to the ocean which we are running lab test once a week with our scientist”. Lab test is not only giving the data of the fish health but I believe it giving the warning if there is crisis in the water. With the hatchery the life cycle of salmon is different than natural fish or farm fish. Their life cycle is begin with the return migration, spawning, incubation, feeding, planting and salt water growth. If there is no fish hatchery then how can we maintain the salmon populations?

As the human population continuing to growth. We need space to live and doing our daily activities. Many areas has been starting to become humanly developed. It leading to the land that used to be strictly inhabited by wildlife has been transformed into a massive infrastructures to fit into our modern, societal needs. Wildlife is force to adapt in order to survive and keep the number growth instead of falling. Maintain a fish hatchery is maintaining the fish populations and the health of the fish but it the expense is a problem.

First, there will be 9 billion people on the planet, if we can maintaining the fish population then we will able to feed 9 billion life in the earth. According to Horton the rivers and streams of the Pacific Northwest used to be so full of wild salmon that fisherman liked to say they could cross the waterways on the fish’s back. Unfortunately, there is not an easy solution for reverse the decline in salmon populations from the cause of overfishing and climate change damage to the fish habitat. Overfishing causing problem for the population of wildlife specialty to tribe when they can unlimited fishing. According to Jenison, he also states that overfishing or unlimited the number of fishing fish is causing a lot of trouble. I understand how fish hatchery can help the environment to maintaining the source of fish when there are many problem of over fishing and inhabited. In the hatchery, they won’t release their baby into the ocean until they are 2-3 years old. It will help them maintaining the population of fish in the ocean and making sure that all the salmon will survive when it comes to change the water environment.

Second, maintaining the health of the fish is not only to maintain the population of the fish but it will maintaining the health of human who like to eat fish. As a person who would rather eat sushi every day in every meal, I would be nervous to know that if the fish I eat is caring disease. Fish has a life. If we don’t run a test the how do we know how healthy of the fish? According to an employee at Wallace Hatchery said not everyone know how to raise a fish. Its truth. If you know don’t know to raising a fish then you know when the time to feed them is, or what are the signs to show there is problem with the health of the fish. Its base on my own experiment raising a fish tank at home.

On the other hand, hatchery is different than farm fish. The greatest difference between hatcheries and salmon farms is that hatchery fish released their fish into the ocean. Farm is keeps their fish in pens until they are market size states by Henderson. As a human being, we would not able to survive in our society if we are not try to live in the society. Weinheimer argues farmed fish have less nutritional value then wild species. Farmed fish have a higher fat content and lower protein content than wild fish have. Wild salmon have 20% more protein and 20% less fat than farm salmon. Bases on the data, we can sure that fish from hatchery have higher protein and less fat compare to farm salmon because they have a chance to survive in the ocean and not have been pens in the farm. There are plenty of health reasons why we need to maintain the fish hatchery than farm fish.

In addition, to maintain fish hatchery is not easy because the cost in hatchery is not a small amount. To run lab test or research in hatchery, you need to have at least 4 years degree in science or higher which will cost a pretty high salary. For an estimate an average salary for Fish Hatchery Specialist job is $41,292 per year base on Simplyhired website. Its truth that hatcheries are a business and thus economic viability. The cost of production for stock-enhancement programmers is further complicated by the difficulty of assessing the benefits to wild population from restocking activities based on Munro (1997).

In the conclusion, money has the power to maintaining the hatchery which will keeping the population of the fish and the health of the fish. Like Jenison states that if he can have magic to change then he would like to gain the funding so the fish hatchery can rebuild at some part because its old and most of material are rotten. On my visiting, I have witness with my own eyes that part of hatchery are old, rotten and need to change. Suziki argues that “in such a world of interconnectedness, every action has consequences”.  


Jenison, T. (2016, July 12). The life circle of Salmon and Habitat [Speech]. Addressed at Wallace River Hatchery, Sultan, WA.

Landers, R. (2016, July 25). Funding for Columbia River salmon hatcheries challenged in court. Retrieved August 9, 2016, from

Eaton, S. (2012, July 23). Vietnam expands fish farms, not without risk. Retrieved August 10, 2016, from

Washington State Fish Hatcheries | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. (n.d.). Retrieved August 10, 2016, from

Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (n.d.). Retrieved August 10, 2016, from

Tomida, Y., Suzuki, T., Yamada, T., Asami, R., Yaegashi, H., Iryu, Y., & Otake, T. (2014). Differences in oxygen and carbon stable isotope ratios between hatchery and wild pink salmon fry. Fisheries Science, 80(2), 273-280. 



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