The current state of Columbia River salmon returns is not looking to improve anytime soon.
Ocean conditions for salmon headed to sea this year are very poor, according to recent NOAA Fisheries research surveys, and have a high likelihood of depressing salmon returns to the Columbia River in the next few years.
NOAA Fisheries research surveys off the Pacific Northwest coast this year turned up among the fewest juvenile salmon of any of the last 20 years, an indication that many of the young fish that migrated to the ocean did not survive.
The outlook is described in a recent research memorandum from NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC), which has been studying the ecology of young salmon entering the ocean for more than 20 years. The research has helped reveal how conditions in the ocean affect salmon survival and, ultimately, how many salmon complete their life cycle to return to their home streams and spawn a new generation of fish.
LINK (via: NOAA)