Wednesday December 28, 2022

Jefferson Public Radio

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has counted 160,000 juvenile winter-run Chinook salmon in the Sacramento River this year, down from an average of 1.3 million.

That’s the lowest number ever recorded, about a quarter of last year’s count and 12 percent of the average. There are usually about 1.3 million juvenile salmon counted.

Michael Milstein, spokesperson for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries department, said one of the causes of this problem is increasing water temperatures due to climate change and drought.

“One of the biggest challenges of where they spawn now is keeping the temperatures low enough for the eggs to survive,” he said.

Vitamin deficiencies have also played a role in the declining salmon numbers, particularly thiamin.

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