Loc: Vancouver, Washington
SG - I agree with your first premise, but disagree on the second.
I don't fish GH at all, but I fish the Naselle Rv several times a year. If eliminating the Nasellle state hatchery also eliminates the gill net fishery, that would be a win-win for the wild fish of the Naselle River.
That river is a huge producer of both wild coho and chum, even with the nets. In fact, in some years WDFW allows the retention of three adult salmon including one wild coho. Production is high likely because coho and chum get past the nets. But the Chinook are the target species so both wild and hatchery get caught.
Without the nets, I believe the numbers of Chinook returning to the Naselle would not decrease at all, provided the commercial fishery is no longer operating and the hatchery is closed. All fish would be wild, which may not allow a huge sport fishery, but given the potential of that river, my sense is that salmon production would be high enough to support a modest recreational fishery in most years. But the Naselle River could never support a commercial fishery without the hatchery.