Thanks POS, shows we have been there before.
I think a more ideal situation would be to let every river that has productive fish habitat (no dams, etc) produce it's own wild fish. Use the hatcheries on rivers that are a lost cause, like the Cow or Columbia. Use stocks of hatchery fish that will be unable to spawn with wild fish for temporal reasons, like ripening way too early or late to breed at the optimum time that natural selection has determined for wild fish. Also, seperate hatchery release points from productive environments - do things like delayed release from net pens or other type of artificial estuary to keep hatchery fish from competing with wild fish. Or at least release them way low in the river. Raise fewer, higher quality smolts and for sure mark every damn one. Let wild fish "overescape" like nature intended, and haul the hatchery carcases upstream for nourishment in systems where anadroumous access has been curtailed. And don't expect a lot from hatchery fish, after all any fish with "wild" tendencies, such as aggression, shyness, territoriality, etc. die out right away in the hatchery environment and are replaced by those that are easygoing, not shy or careful, and that take crowding and unnatural domestic conditions in stride. Of course these are mostly going to die in the real world, regardless of whether their parents were hatchery or wild. A potential cure for this is the "natural" hatchery, where the natural environment is somewhat duplicated and fish are fed minimal amounts of feed and forced to forage for the rest and hide from predators in relatively natural conditions. I believe they are trying this in the Dungeness.
No matter what, we are never going to be able to produce fish as well or as economically as they produce themselves. Most biologists know this, although the masses have not figured it out yet, so politics is still on the side of draconian hatchery practices and things like wild broodstock programs as are being pushed for the Sandy. Well, I guess the only good news is that things like this cost money, and since no one is willing to come up with enough to run them they will eventually die off. Hope they don't take they wild fish with them