December 31, 2015 at 8:29 pm #3525MikeKeymaster
Headline: “Millions of salmon mysteriously just disappear” off West Coast —
Expert: “Literally within 2 days it disappeared, it just crashed… I have never ever seen, nor can I explain” that —
“One of the worst seasons ever” —
“Disturbing… Serious trouble… Very dramatic”
Published: November 4th, 2015 at 8:08 pm ET
The Globe and Mail, Nov 3, 2015 (emphasis added): Millions of B.C. salmon mysteriously ‘just disappear’ in troubling year… [There were] very poor returns on the Fraser River, where only about two million sockeye returned, far short of the more than six million predicted in preseason forecasts. Even more dramatic was the collapse of the pink salmon on the Fraser, with only about five million fish showing up when more than 14 million had been forecast…
[Dr. Brian Riddell, president and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation] said it is possible at this point to paint a broad picture, and the indication is that some stocks are in serious trouble. One mystery, he said, is what happened to all those pink salmon that were supposed to return to the Fraser River. Dr. Riddell said test fisheries in the Georgia Strait in the summer showed a strong run of pink salmon coming in, but then… the fish just stopped arriving…
“We had roughly 40 per cent of the run in and it was on track with the curve, and then literally within two days it disappeared. It just crashed. … I have never ever seen, nor can I explain, a test fishery like that. The fish are coming in and you are following the proper pattern as they have for years and years, and then they suddenly just disappear. And we have not accounted for them.” He said millions of fish that should have been coming in the second half of the run just didn’t materialize.
Vancouver Sun, Nov 3, 2015: Late sockeye numbers ‘disturbingly low,’ monitoring group says; Pre-run estimate of 1.24 million dropped to 200,000 for entire Fraser River run… “it’s much more disappointing than people were hoping to see this year,” said Greg Taylor, senior fisheries adviser for the Watershed Watch Salmon Society… “They arrive in the spawning grounds in October, and the numbers they’re seeing are disturbingly low.”
Taylor noted that the Pacific Salmon Commission’s (PSC) pre-run estimate of 1.24 million late-run salmon was dropped to 200,000 for the entire Fraser River run… “It’s a very dramatic reduction.”… Taylor noted that this is the second year in a row that both the early summer and late summer components of Shuswap sockeye returned at levels well below pre-season expectations. “They join many other Thompson salmon stocks, including coho, chinook, and steelhead, that have struggled in recent years.”
Press Democrat, Sep 21, 2015: Meager salmon catch one of worst seasons for Sonoma County fishermen… one of the worst king salmon seasons in memory.
Some Bodega Bay-based anglers gave up rather than scramble for meager catches of underweight and undersized salmon… the season is a bust… “It’s just not worth it,” said Chris Lawson, a 40-year fishing veteran, who said he quit going out for salmon in mid-July… Lawson called it “one of the worst seasons ever.”…
Anglers are wondering what happened to the 650,000 king salmon said to be in the ocean off the North Coast this year… Lawson called 2015 one of the worst in his 40 years of salmon fishing.December 31, 2015 at 8:32 pm #3526MikeKeymaster
“Worst Ever”: Alarm over shocking crash of salmon population in Pacific Northwest —
“Very frightening… Pathetic… Grave… Disastrous… Non-existent” —
Official calls for immediate government action —
“Something majorly wrong is happening in our oceans” (VIDEOS)
Published: November 18th, 2015 at 6:38 pm ET
Globe and Mail, Nov 12, 2015 (emphasis added): The collapse of major salmon runs in B.C. this fall… prompted First Nations to request “an urgent meeting” with newly appointed federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo. Chief Bob Chamberlin, chair of the First Nations Wild Salmon Alliance, said the disappearance of millions of pink salmon headed for the Fraser and the collapse of the Adams River sockeye run underscore the need for immediate government action.
“Only about 2,000 fish made it back to the Adams River*. That’s supposed to be one of the biggest, most precious runs of sockeye in the world,” he said Thursday. About 1.2 million sockeye were forecast to return to the Adams… No explanations for the failure of the runs to materialize have been given by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans… Mr. Chamberlin said… “This year’s runs have made it abundantly clear that our salmon stocks are in grave danger“…
Globe and Mail, Nov 4, 2015: British Columbia’s iconic Adams River salmon run… appears to have collapsed… Jim Cooperman, president of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society, said the spawning beds… are empty this fall… “It’s pretty grim here at the Adams River … it’s quite depressing here really.”…
Because the fish mature at four years of age, the runs are on a cycle, which means each one usually reflects the progenitor run that occurred four years before [i.e. 2011]… it is the worst return ever on that cycle; the next lowest year was 1939, when 16,000 fish came back. Mr. Cooperman said the small return represents “a very frightening crash,” and two successive poor years should set off alarm bells…
Salmon Arm Observer, Oct 27, 2015: Sockeye numbers shockingly low… South Thompson sockeye run has been disastrous… No late-run sockeye were observed in upper Adams… Four years ago, late-run salmon were in the millions, sparking hopes of a large return…
CTV, Nov 6, 2015: Alarm sounded after dismal sockeye salmon return to iconic B.C. river
CTV transcript, Nov 6, 2015: One of B.C.’s most important salmon runs just hasn’t happened… The story it’s telling is ugly. (Jim Cooperman, president of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society:) “This is a collapse. This is a crash. It’s very significant.”… What’s missing is the salmon. Normally by this time of year with the spawning over, you’d be seeing a scattering of sockeye carcasses along the Adams River — but today you’re hard-pressed to find a single one… Government biologists say [it’s been] very disappointing.
Global News, Nov 6, 2015: [T]he number of sockeye returning to the Adams River is down sharply from the number originally expected. Now a local environmental group is raising concerns the return may be a sign of even bigger problems. “It was pathetic,” says Jim Cooperman, president of the Shuswap Environmental Action Society.
“That tells me that there is something majorly wrong happening in our oceans… think [of] salmon as the canary in the coal mine… we have some major concerns and it is not just the salmon.”… “We can say the returns are significantly below what we had preseason forecast,” says Stu Cartwright, Fisheries and Oceans Canada… federal authorities don’t know why fewer sockeye returned this year than originally expected.
Vancouver Sun, Nov 3, 2015: The late South Thompson sockeye run has seen far fewer fish than expected… “In terms of the sockeye return, it’s much more disappointing than people were hoping to see this year,” said Greg Taylor, senior fisheries adviser for the Watershed Watch Salmon Society… “They arrive in the spawning grounds in October, and the numbers they’re seeing are disturbingly low.”… Taylor noted that this is the second year in a row that both the early summer and late summer components of Shuswap sockeye returned at levels well below pre-season expectations.
Vancouver Sun, Sep 9, 2015: [A] fish expert says this year’s salmon season seems to be non-existent… “I didn’t smoke or can anything this year,” [Ken Ashley, director of the Rivers Institute at the B.C. Institute of Technology] said…
The Province, Sep 10, 2015: “I think we’re looking at the gradual biological extinction of salmon” [said First Nations fish adviser Ernie Crey]… Crey, 66, has been studying the situation for 35 years, first as a member of Fisheries and Oceans Canada… “This year’s run on the Fraser will be one of the lowest returns we’ve seen,” [fisheries scientist Brian Riddell] said…
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