Friday June 14, 2024

Times Colonist

A century of log booms in the Cowichan-Koksilah estuary have not only degraded critical salmon-bearing habitat, they’ve given harbour seals an unfair advantage over fish coming in and out of the river system.

And combined with low river flows caused by drought, it’s contributing to declining salmon populations in the beleaguered estuary, says a new study.The Year Six Report by the Cowichan Tribes, Pacific Salmon Foundation and B.C. Conservation Foundation says the log booms are altering predator-prey dynamics, as seals waiting on the logs can see and eat more salmon.Drought years are only making it worse, since the lack of water means salmon stay longer in the lower river and estuary as they wait for the opportune time to go upstream to spawn.

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