And here comes the big BUT.
But that's not what I am talking about at all. Mankind has messed around with all manner of stuff since the dawn of time. Own a dog? Yeah, well, it's a genetically modified wolf. BUT! Let's not give the GMO salmon producers any ammo they can successfully unleash on the vast majority of people who don't pay attention to anything (you know, Americans). Anyway, a little background, shortly after Idaho had one redfish return, you remember Lonesome Larry, there's been this company asking the FDA to approve genetically modified salmon. They give these salmon some chinook salmon growth promoting gene and another one from conger eel AKA ocean pout and these new super salmon grow twice as fast as regular ole farmed salmon. Thereby doubling the profits or you know whatever the business plan says, now that it hasn't been approved in 22 years.
Anyway, in 2012 our government said these fish didn't pose a threat to humans if we ate them, but still they didn't receive the OK from the revenuers, I mean government. (Sorry, my Kentucky bubbled to the surface there).
So, what's the sticking point!?! Well, extinction of native salmon seems to be right up there in the ole objection jar. So, people are afraid that these salmon from the planet Krypton or as I like to describe them, these salmon destined for Diabetes, are going to somehow, someway break out into the wild and win over all the salmon ladies. (Yes, I know, I dumbed it down for people who don't really pay attention to much, you know, Americans). And when they get all the native salmon ladies to move some gravel for them, well it is bye, bye native salmon, hello hybrid fat, overweight, sports watching 'Murican' Salmon. And you know what's next, heart disease, taking aspirin everyday, and no more cupcakes, you overweight, too fast growing jacks. (If you are really tuned in to the salmon issue and the health issues of the USA, that was comedy gold, BTW).
Anywho, time to hit them with a fact, because when they don't know it's a fact, it will likely resonate. Did I write that on the page? Yes, OK, moving on...Purdue University had a study on these diabetic salmon, these PED salmon (for you A-Rod fans out there) and they found that when they introduced 60 of these GMO fish to a population of 60,000 native fish (in a computer model), the native fish went extinct in 40 fish generations.
So, that's a problem.
That's the crux of this. On my home river and its tributaries we have bull trout, but some bucket biologist long ago dumped nonnative brook trout into the South Fork of the Salmon River Basin and Boise National Forest fisheries studies show that in some cases as much as 29 percent of the "bull trout" population are really bull trout X brook trout hybrids. They both being chars, they can reproduce into something nature never intended. There are mitigating factors that have luckily kept that bull/brook hybrid number lower than what would happen if you had some four-year-old native chinook salmon female unloading her eggs in a redd for some, on the lam, muscular (The Rock looking) two-year-old farm-raised jack chinook salmon on some sort of piscis rumspringa.
If the government ever gives the OK for genetically modified salmon, and let's be honest, they probably will at some point. First, it will be with several safeguards in place that try to ensure no escapement into the wild. But later, once they start showing great profits, they are going to start asking for governments, USA and Canada and whoever else, for permission to grow these things in net pens in the ocean and you and I both know that some government is going to cave and say, sure. And then, well, they are going to escape and you saw what the Purdue model said would happen with a 0.1 percent GMO salmon rate versus the natives. Well, any escapement from one of these ocean net pens and you are likely going to get something a little faster than this Purdue model showed.
Well, look at that, I've proved my point and never once relied on the ole cliche about how we can't be letting some genie out of the bottle. Wait, ah man, I guess I couldn't resist.