Tuesday January 16, 2024


Climate change has tipped the scales, causing juvenile sockeye salmon in B.C. to grow bigger over the past century. 

The growth of salmon using lakes as nurseries during the first years of life in northern B.C. is about 35 per cent higher than 100 years ago, a new study from Simon Fraser University shows. 

Warmer lake temperatures can spur salmon to grow faster by boosting their metabolism and their ability to capture prey, as well as increasing the food supply for fish, said SFU researcher Michael Price. 

However, it’s not a given that bigger is always better, said Price, who led the study looking at how salmon populations are adapting to global warming in different freshwater habitats in the Skeena River watershed. 

“The prevailing thought is, ‘Yes, bigger is better,’” he said. “But there is some complication here.” 

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