Greetings from the Hatchery God

The God of Hatcheries Speaks………

Good Morning. I am the God of hatcheries in the State of Today.  Just Today mind you.  Not Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Canada, or Alaska.  You get the idea.  Limited geographic jurisdiction.

The question on the table, posed by a blogospheric busy-body, goes something like this:  what changes would I make to the hatchery system here, in the great State of Today?

Interesting.  Someone must think that changes are in order, otherwise, the enquirer could have simply said, “nice job, way to go, keep on keepin’ on, bravo, encore,” or such forth.

Humm. What changes would I make?

Perhaps I might suggest starting with a discussion of our heavenly organizational chart.  This is the arrangement of employees, temporary workers, contractors, managers, ad-hoc teams, think-tankers, lobbyists, consultants, board members, commissioners, advisory councils, oversight bodies, accountants, special investigators, research section scientists, and so on.

As God of Hatcheries, I report to the God of Fish Management.  The God of Fish Management supervises many Gods, via a series of management Gods.  Some of these gods are responsible for commercial fish harvest, recreational fish harvest, studies of native fish throughout the State of Today, public relations, license sales, data analysis, fish and habitat monitoring, paperwork, budget cuts, engineering, administrative rules, facilities maintenance, fish screens, finance analysis, property management, real estate, endangered species coordination, conservation science, planning coordination, conservation of native species, fish health, stock identification, water quality, information management, dams, ocean salmon, Big River programs, technical resources, fisheries management programs coordination, marine resources, shellfish, shrimp, crabs,  trout, community support, ground fish, field biologists, samplers, union stewards, marine mammals, and, pardon the pun, God knows who else.

The God of Fish and the God of Wildlife both report to the God of the Fish and Wildlife Management, who in turn reports to a Commission of Gods that oversees the God of Fish and Wildlife.

Our Fish and Wildlife God is but one of many among the Gods in the State of Today, including great Gods of health and human services, transportation, prisons, environment, forestry, water resources, mining, state lands, economic development, investments, taxation, judicial, administrative services, law enforcement – to name a few.

The heavenly organizational chart is complicated, as you can see. Hope it doesn’t sound like I’m passing the buck.

What you might not have gathered from all this blathering is that I don’t really exist.

There concept of a solitary, independent God of Hatcheries in the State of Today is an illusion.

The God of Hatcheries is much like the Internet. It is not a single person, an all-powerful entity, a computer, or even a single idea.

The God of hatcheries is an intricately associated network – dispersed across space and time – that includes ideas, beliefs, historical precedent, hopes for the future, business arrangements, mutual economic and presumed dependencies, legal contracts, friendships, brochures on the safe use of disinfectants, leaky chest waders and worn-out boots, job descriptions, performance evaluations, union negotiations, cases of toilet paper, supporters, detractors, onlookers, anglers, guides, tackle manufacturers, school teachers, tourists, scientists, bureaucrats, pontificators, authors, bloggers, know-it-alls, concrete, tradition, water rights, sacks of fish food, stores of antibiotics, research proposals awaiting funding, research in progress, musty old boxes of rubber bands stored in corners, symposia and reports on the impacts of hatcheries on wild fish, economic cost/benefit analyses, truck-loads of coded-wire-tags, weekly fishing reports, the owner of the Jasper Store deciding how many corkies and ghost shrimp to order, people who make fish tagging machines, lawns to mow, parking lots to grade, interpretative kiosks that need to be painted, toilets that have to be cleaned, people who wave magic wands over fish heads on the docks at Scappoose, nets to repair, Indian tribes that are legally entitled to salmon, federal government promises to replace salmon runs that were destroyed by dams, international and interstate treaties, yellow highlighters and number 2 pencils, six-year-old kids, life jackets and safety equipment, articles in Salmon Trout Steelheader, conversations in boats, fifty people standing elbow-to-elbow below the South Santiam  hatchery ladder in June, front page headlines in the Todayonian, weekly columns by Mill Bonroe, astute scientists and historians, crazy ideas, federal tax dollars, 86-year old kids, fishing license revenue, hysteria, clear thinking, contentment with the way things were last year, hopes for changing the ways will go next year,   – – – – – – –

Get it?

There is no such thing as one-stop-shopping if one is hoping to change the hatchery system in the State of Today.  Everything is connected.  Good intentions will have far-reaching consequences.  Maintaining the hatchery system as it is will have consequences.  Changing the hatchery system in some way, in any way, will have consequences.

Steady as she-goes?

Right full rudder?

We might want to think carefully before giving the order, eh?

(Respectfully transmitted by JN)

4 thoughts on “Greetings from the Hatchery God

  1. In that we understand that the Gods must be crazy – it seems important to remember that improving hathcery management is still a faith-based endeavor.

    As we move forward to improve hatcheries -in some places reducing or elimintating production – we are doing so with the faith that the society God will think its important enough to agree to the sacrifices necesary to protect and restore critical habitat needed to build and sustain wild fish.

  2. Dear Hatchery God,

    Please consider the intent of Oregon Wild Salmonid Policy, and try not to get caught up in all the loop holes that have been added to placate greedy and addicted people.

    Let’s reserve hatcheries for those waterways where wild fish are no longer sustaining themselves. And where wild populations are thriving, let’s do our best to minimize risks to their survival.

    Thanks for listening, Amen.

    1. Humm – ya mean that if the watershed gets turned into an asphalt parking lot, all our haranguing over hatchery programs will be irrelevant, because than only hatchery fish could survive there? JN

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