Stock Enhancement Research at

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Northwest Fisheries Science Center
NOAA Fisheries Service
ling cod

The Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) is involved in research to develop a responsible and effective marine stock enhancement technology to help restore depleted fish populations.

Northwest Fishery Science Center 's Role in SCORE

To develop and test the potential of marine stock enhancement, SCORE scientists at NWFSC are conducting research in collaboration with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to resolve critical uncertainties about the effectiveness of using hatchery releases as a fishery management tool to help recover depleted lingcod stocks. The rebuilding plan approved by the Pacific Fishery Management Council for coastal stocks estimates that it will take at least 10 years of very restricted fishing levels for stocks to rebuild to maximum-sustainable-yield abundance levels.  This may be optimistic as results of models used to estimate biomass of lingcod in the Georgia Strait indicate that stocks there have also been depleted by over 90% and that their reproductive capacity is much lower than that of other temperate fish stocks.  Abundance in Georgia Strait is still low, despite a closure of commercial fishing and a reduction in recreational fishing that started in 1990 due to severely depressed catches of the 1980's.  Similar to many marine fish species, the life cycle for lingcod leads to infrequent reproductive success in terms of adult recruitment and survival rates of early life stages, which are highly influenced by the ocean environment. 

NWFSC scientists co-founded SCORE in 2001.

Key Links to Fisheries-Enhancement Research at NWFSC

NWFSC Manchester Research Station

NWFSC REUT Marine Fish Group

NWFSC Hatchery Reform Science Program

NWFSC Sustainable Aquaculture Program

NWFSC Salmon Recovery Program

ling cod