Are hatchery salmon hurting our wild runs?

Deckboss regulars know we've occasionally touched on the topic of Alaska's prolific salmon hatcheries, and whether manufactured fish are having any detrimental effects on our purely wild runs.

This has long been a concern of some state biologists. Now it appears the state is taking steps to investigate the matter further.

The Department of Fish and Game has issued a request for proposals from "entities interested in conducting a research program to address interactions of wild and hatchery pink and chum salmon in Prince William Sound and Southeast Alaska."

It's a pretty serious contract, worth up to $4.5 million.

Jump to page 27 of the 73-page RFP to read the very interesting "scope of work" to be performed.

On a related note, the Wild Salmon Center of Portland, Ore., today announced new research suggesting hatchery-raised salmon "can harm wild salmon through competition for food and habitat."