Thursday November 11, 2021

Fisherman’s News

A new NOAA Fisheries report identifies late-migrating juvenile spring-run Chinook salmon of California’s Central Valley as the ultimate survivors in drought years and when marine heat waves warm the waters of the Pacific Ocean. They are among the few salmon returning to spawning rivers in such difficult years to keep these populations alive, according to research published in early November in the journal Nature Climate Change.

“Some years the late migrants were the only life-history strategy that was successful,” according to Flora Cordoleani, lead author of the research and associate project scientist with NOAA Fisheries and the University of California Santa Cruz. These fish, Cordoleani said, can survive difficult drought conditions because they come from the few remaining rivers with accessible high-elevation habitats where water is cool enough through the summer.

The findings, NOAA Fisheries research scientist Rachel Johnson said, underscore the importance of providing secure cool-water habitat for fish so they can survive difficult conditions during drought and ocean warming.

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