Forage fish indicate ecosystem changes that impact orcas – King 5

Good short overview on forage fish, the key indicator species for salmon and our resident orcas. Highlights the work being done at the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Protecting the forage fish habitat is what Sound Action is involved in when they review Hydraulic Permits at the state level.

The decline of Southern Resident Killer Whales gets a lot of attention, and it’s mostly blamed on the disappearance of their favorite food: Chinook salmon.

And one group of scientists at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking past Chinook at smaller fish that are often overlooked by headlines.

“Chinook salmon, orca, seals, birds – all of these species depend on forage fish,” Dayv Lowry said. “When they start to decline, and we start to see these indicators of poor health, now everybody really worries about them especially because so many other species rely on them.”