Farm Raised Wild Organisms

I have been working on IDing as many pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus) observations as I can, and I was wondering if there is way to denote whether an organism is farm/hatchery raised or not? I think it’d be neat to denote that if possible but I’m unsure how.

Thanks :)

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Scroll down to the section “Data Quality Assessments”
Under “Organism is wild” check “no”

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Hatchery and farm raised organisms should still be marked as wild if they were encountered in the wild. Their origin is irrelevant to their wild status.


You can add them to my project Escapees from Captivity.


I’ve never seen a live salmon before in its natural habitat. I think it is impossible to tell the difference between farm raised salmons and wild salmons. The salmon stock for fry production comes from the wild. so the fish retains the same traits.

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You should not do this as they are considered wild


"Checking captive / cultivated means that the observation is of an organism that exists in the time and place it was observed because humans intended it to be then and there. "

To me, that would mean that a hatchery-raised fish should be marked as captive/cultivated, because it was intentionally released for the purpose of living in/returning to that river - although the ‘then’ part of the definition would be a grey area. Still, it was intended to live in/return to the river for an extended time, not that different from an oak tree planted in a front yard, and still there 80 years later.

Additionally, the genetics are frequently different, and can have a detrimental effect on wild populations:

(Yes, I do enjoy hair-splitting, why do you ask?? :grinning:)


Site staff have made it clear on a number of occasions that escaped and released animals count as wild for iNat purposes.


If you observe them in the wild, true.
If they are in the farm/hatchery that is the same as captive/cultivated.


If the salmon are at the hatchery, they are captive. If they’re in the river and moving where they want, they’re wild – even though people want them to do just that.


Hatchery fish mass-marking

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If they are in the location right where they’ve been dropped off from a hatchery truck (and thus haven’t moved from where humans dropped them off), then it’s probably still fair to mark as “captive”. Otherwise, once they’ve moved somewhere they want to go away from that site, they’d be wild.

The genetics are irrelevant to determining wild/captive.

You can see some previous discussion of a similar scenario on this previous thread:


If the fish are tagged, you could create a project or an observation field to track them.

Yes, but that’s not the situation being presented

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you could use Observation Fields or Tags’

Their origin might be irrelevant to you, or to the iNat protocol, but truly wild salmon and hatchery-raised salmon are not the same. INat might not be the best vehicle, but there is value in differentiating them and tracking their relative numbers.

I agree, it is useful to keep track of a fish’s origin for a variety of purposes. But both are eligible for Research Grade on iNat. Origin can still be tracked using projects and observation fields if you’re interested.


they aren’t tagged, but they are denoted by the adipose fin having been cut (I should’ve mentioned that originally sorry). I am referring here to individuals in the wild, but were raised as juveniles in a hatchery

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It’s very true that salmon of wild origin are different in some important ways from released hatchery fish. It’s also true that once they’re in the river, they’re wild for iNaturalist purposes. Commenting on their origin, if known, is always appropriate.


Surprisingly, there is as yet no observation field for this. You could create one.

EDIT: Actually, I found this one which may be relevant: Observation field: # fish with no adipose fin · iNaturalist