Thursday October 6, 2022

CBC News

After three parched months, much of B.C. is experiencing drought and ongoing hot weather has left streams running dry, leaving no way for some salmon to return to their spawning grounds, killing hundreds in a mass die-off on the province’s central coast.

The situation has scientists and salmon watchers concerned.

The Pacific Salmon Commission initially projected a return of 9.8 million fish to the Fraser River this year. By August, predictions were reduced to 5.5 million. This was readjusted again, on Sept. 28, to 6.8 million.

There were record-low rainfalls in September, and dry weather and heat has continued into October, a month known for rain. For some migrating salmon, that lack of moisture is proving deadly.

William Housty, the conservation manager for the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella, B.C., says crews from his band walk the creek beds and count returning adult salmon.

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