Tuesday November 30, 2021

The Mercury News

Autumnal rain has sent a surge of Chinook salmon swimming up Bay Area creeks, a sharp reversal in fortune for an iconic species that has struggled after years of drought.

A living link between our mountains and coast, the fish responded to late October’s fierce atmospheric river by rushing up the region’s once-parched rivers, say biologists, frequenting spots where they’ve never been seen.

“It’s remarkable,” said Joe Sullivan, fishery manager with the East Bay Regional Park District. The storm “triggered them to go to the first slug of fresh water they could find,” as they returned from their epic ocean migration to spawn.

In recent years, populations of Chinook, also known as king salmon, have collapsed with astonishing speed — and even this current run is unlikely to end well if more rain doesn’t come.


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