• Salmon in trouble

  • Have questions about Saltwater areas, boats, gear or techniques? This is the place for them.
Have questions about Saltwater areas, boats, gear or techniques? This is the place for them.
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 #239145  by Larry3215
 Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:02 am
https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-ne ... -122552821

Surveys off Washington’s coast detected low numbers of juvenile salmon from the Columbia River, including spring chinook, a bad omen for orcas and other species that rely on the king of fish.

Scientists have been hauling survey nets through the ocean off the coasts of Washington and Oregon for 20 years. But this is the first time some have come up empty.

“We were really worrying if there was something wrong with our equipment,” said David Huff, estuarine and ocean ecology program manager in the fish ecology division at NOAA Fisheries. “We have never hauled that net through the water looking for salmon or forage fish and not gotten a single salmon. Three times we pulled that net up, and there was not a thing in it. We looked at each other, like, ‘this is really different than anything we have ever seen.’

“It was alarming.”

“Every year is different. But this year popped out as being really different,” said Brian Burke, a research fisheries biologist based at the NW Fisheries Science Center in Montlake. “Not just a bunch of normal metrics that point to a bad ocean year, but the presence of these things we have never seen before, really big changes in the ecosystem. Something really big has shifted here.”

It’s not a short-term problem.
 #239148  by BARCHASER1
 Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:02 am
I saw that article in todays paper. I thought that with the decrease in the "Blob" we would see better ocean conditions but maybe not. I'm still hoping this is temporary. We had a warm water period in the 90's. The ocean was thick with Spanish Mackeral, couldnt keep off the hook. We couldnt use bait anymore, had to switch to spoons in the ocean and the salmon fishing was slow. But it did turn out to be temporary.

But with climate change it is looking more long term.
 #239150  by branweeds
 Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:15 am
Possibly partly due to the strong El Nino we had over the last couple years? Maybe the La Nina will bring some colder Ocean and Air temps in the near future.
 #239152  by Larry3215
 Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:37 pm
The reasons why are important to understand, but the consequences are easy to predict - sport fisheries will be the first ones cut and the deepest cut.
 #239167  by Bodofish
 Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:49 pm
Dr. Mass has lots of stuff out there. UW atmos and KNKX commentator. Cliffmass=Weather.
 #239169  by TrackerPro16
 Tue Oct 10, 2017 4:38 pm
Have a friend that is going to count salmon carcasses and check for eggs present with the WDFW. Orientation is tonight. Should be interesting.
 #239202  by Bay wolf
 Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:48 am
Lower numbers of adult and juvenile fish in the salt chuck coupled with the very low water conditions we have been experiencing could add up to a crash in salmon runs. Although we can continue to pump hatchery fish into the system, their needs to be a MAJOR mind shift in the management models. We cannot keep on doing the "same old thing" and expect different results. Especially if we think those results will be an increase in fish and re-build the wild populations. We don't have to be math geniuses to see that the graph is sliding down hill, yet we still continue to manage our fish like a commodity that should be harvested down to the last fish...

When I say "we" I mean those that are currently in power and managing the fisheries, not the sportsmen. The sportsmen have been taken out of having any real voice in the management of fish here in Washington for some time now.