Pink salmon numbers may threaten other North Pacific species – AP

The pieces to the salmon puzzle continue to come in from the various angles of research being done. The scientists in this article don’t claim to be have the sole answer but are raising questions that run counter to the narrative that the hatchery supporters want to tell. This is healthy debate and given the stakes for our last great fishery, are worth putting more money into determining whether these root causes or not.

Biological oceanographer Sonia Batten experienced her lightbulb moment on the perils of too many salmon three years ago as she prepared a talk on the most important North Pacific seafood you’ll never see on a plate — zooplankton.

https://www.apnews.com/e589a757f4fd48869af6e17845c5c857

And this follow up story showed up from KUOW

‘Slowly slipping away.’ Fewest sockeye salmon ever counted at Ballard Locks

Sockeye salmon are returning to Lake Washington in the smallest numbers since record-keeping started.

As of early August, 17,000 sockeye had returned from the ocean, compared to hundreds of thousands inat their peak years.

https://kuow.org/stories/slowly-slipping-away-sockeye-numbers-at-ballard-locks-reach-record-lows

COHO SALMON FOUND IN LAKE SUTHERLAND – NW Treaty Tribes

The good news keeps coming. Wild coho have found mixing with fix that had been moved into and out of the hatchery during the dam removal.

During the tribe’s annual monitoring of Indian Creek, which connects Lake Sutherland to the Elwha River, the tribe found smolts up to 10 inches long in the tribe’s fyke net. Coho smolts are typically half that size.

Read the rest of the story here:

https://nwtreatytribes.org/coho-salmon-found-in-lake-sutherland/

Washington state to regulate federal dams on Columbia, Snake to cool hot water, aid salmon – Seattle Times

In a move that might be the beginning of the State finally deciding that they are going to need to manage the Columbia River dams, this has been announced.That our state has been ignoring the temperatures in the Snake and Columbia for decades while billions of salmon fry and mature salmon have perished is another block in the wall of shame that has led us to this point.

Dams and climate change are the leading cause of high temperatures in the Columbia and Snake rivers that are killing salmon, according to an EPA draft analysis. Now the state wants to get involved.

And to drive home the point of the Lower Snake River Dams (LSRDs) let’s review the information that has been put together by DamSense.org

The 4 LSRD’s have a benefit to cost ratio of 15¢ on the dollar, forego about 4,000 jobs and $500 million in direct expenditures and about $20 million per year that could go to State School budgets, when compared to the benefits of a free flowing river.
The cost of producing power (that is surplus and rarely available for meeting peak demands) adds significant pressure to BPA’s dire financial situation causing rate increases and diverts funds from other dams and restoration work. In the last 93,000 hours of production, the 4 LSRDs produced only 2 hours of power needed by BPA customers.

…The 4LSRDs provide no flood protection. Irrigation to a small number of farms on Ice Harbor pool can easily be upgraded as a mitigation feature of breaching.

Inland waterborne transport on the lower snake of wheat has declined significantly over the last 10 years as Washington State (through its grain shuttle service) and farmers are finding it cheaper to ship by rail. Petroleum shipments up the lower Snake virtually ceased several years ago with the only remaining terminal located at mile 1 on the lower Snake River which is NOT impacted by breaching of the 4LSRD’s

Prepared by J Waddell, Civil Engineer, PE, USACE Retired

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/washington-state-to-regulate-federal-dams-on-columbia-snake-to-cool-hot-water-check-pollution/

 

State discusses killing seals and sea lions in Puget Sound

Perhaps the most controversial idea out of the Orca task force has been the notion of killing sea lions and seals to help salmon survive. Like many ideas, this one is simplistic and has the greatest appeal to people who don’t want to spend much time thinking about whether something works or just makes you feel like you are doing something. Fish and Wildlife are holding meetings to gather information on whether or not this really is an idea with merit. Biologists who study the food chain aren’t so sure. If you think you already know the answer, then you should read this article. “There is no guarantee of a response by the salmon in terms of returning adults.” And you know what an assumption is, it’s a word made up of and makes an “ass of u and me”. Let’s put the science of this in it’s rightful place, which is at the head of the train and not tow it along in our ill informed wake.

State wildlife commissioners heard testimony Friday about whether a seal and sea lion cull could help save salmon, and thereby restore food to the starving Southern Resident killer whales (SRKW)…. “It’s important to set the stage that this occurs in a very complex ecosystem and it is a very complex food web,” said WDFW Research Scientist Scott Pearson…. “If you want a 25 percent reduction in the total juvenile Chinook consumption by seals, we have to reduce this number of 19,000 seals down to 14,300. If you subtract this number from this number, that’s how many we have to remove 4,700 seals, and we have to annually remove 530 seals per year to keep it at that level,” Pearson said. But the problem is, salmon also face a slew of other challenges, including hydropower, hatcheries, habitat, disease, and contaminants. Scientists told commissioners they don’t know whether killing seals and sea lions will do anything at all…. “In my opinion, even if the seal consumption were somehow reduced or eliminated, there is no guarantee of a response by the salmon in terms of returning adults,” said WDFW Research Scientist Joe Anderson. Alison Morrow reports. (KING) See also: Puget Sound resident orcas limited by social behavior  Alison Morrow reports. (KING)

State discusses killing seals and sea lions in Puget Sound 

PSI COLLABORATOR RECEIVES NSF GRANT TO STUDY COHO DEATHS – Puget Sound Institute

Good news. A grant has been awarded to do deeper research into road runoff and how it kills salmon. It will include citizen scientists to help find the specimens and alert the researchers to die offs.

PSI collaborator Ed Kolodziej has received a $330,000 National Science Foundation grant to expand his research on toxic pollutants in Puget Sound. Kolodziej’s project will identify chemicals in stormwater that are killing coho salmon and endangering some spawning runs. The project includes a collaboration with citizen scientists who will alert project members to salmon die-offs as they are happening. Kolodziej’s team will then collect water and tissue samples from these sites that they will analyze using at the labs of PSI’s parent group the Center for Urban Waters.

Read the full story here:

https://www.pugetsoundinstitute.org/2018/08/psi-collaborator-receives-nsf-grant-to-study-coho-deaths/?utm_campaign=grants-and-funding&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitter

Chef Renee Erickson pulls king salmon from menu after learning of starving orcas – KUOW

It seems there is something happening, right now. I called for looking into a moratorium on chinook harvest in the Salish Sea and just off the coast, and now (totally separate from my article) Canadian environmentalists and a restaurant in Seattle are also calling for a  halt for the demand for Salish Sea chinook. I’m reaching out to a Seattle fisheries expert who claims it won’t matter. We’ll see if he has time to help me and you understand why.  More to follow.

A Seattle restaurateur has stopped offering chinook salmon at her restaurants. Renee Erickson, chef and owner of a group of restaurants, including The Walrus and the Carpenter in Ballard, said she made the decision after learning about the plight of J50, the young, ailing orca whale.

http://kuow.org/stories/chef-renee-erickson-pulls-king-salmon-from-menu-after-learning-of-starving-orcas

and

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/seattle-chef-renee-erickson-takes-chinook-salmon-off-menus-to-help-ailing-puget-sound-orcas/

 

 

 

 

 

Salmon spawn fierce debate over protecting endangered species, thanks to a single gene-Science Magazine

interesting news…big possible impacts for dam removal projects.

…Researchers had concluded that the Klamath’s spring-run Chinook are genetically similar to fall-run Chinook.

New research findings, however, are forcing scientists and federal officials to revisit that decision. In 2017, researchers announced that they’d identified a single gene that appears to control whether Chinook salmon, as well as steelhead, a closely related species of rainbow trout, migrate upriver before or after reaching sexual maturity. They concluded that the genetic change that produced spring-run Chinook occurred only once in the species’s history.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/05/salmon-spawn-fierce-debate-over-protecting-endangered-species-thanks-single-gene

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