NOAA just announced in a press conference that the Chinook salmon population is in peril during to recent drought. Federal authorities from Sacramento, said that they have registered a 22 percent drop in salmon population since 2014.
Authorities have already taken the necessary precaution in an endeavor to try and stabilize the existing salmon population. As of now, the run Chinook salmon is listed under the Endangered Species Act. Representing the interests of NOAA, Garwin Yip, head of Water Operations and Delta Consultations said that although last year was problematic in terms of juvenile salmon numbers, this year could very well prove to be a turning point for the overall salmon population in Sacramento waters. Yip tells us that as winter approaches, the salmon population will be heading under the Golden Gate Bridge via the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.
The situation is more dire than anticipated. Scientists determined that this year we should expect another visit from El Nino. This usually prompts changes in terms of weather and temperature. Although El Nino is expected to bring some rainy days over the Californian state. Unfortunatly, not even heavy rain could be able to counteract the effects of recent droughts.
Garwin Yip said that the reason behind the salmon’s population decrease could be found in the water temperature. Apparently, warmer waters tend to make the run chinook salmon somewhat lethargic. If a fish is lethargic in water he can be vulnerable to other predators lurking out there. Also, if they somehow manage to elude their predators, they may fall ill and develop infections.
Chinook salmon population is in peril and the number seems to add a more dramatic touch to the situation. According to the data recently published by NOAA, approximately 218.000 juvenile salmons were counted downstream of the Shasta Dam. It may seem like a lot, but according to last year’s records, there are 62.463 fewer juvenile salmons.
Authorities now put a lot of emphasis on the coming winter, when the Chinook salmon will migrate in Northern California. There they will remain during the cold months of November and December.
Also, it is worth mentioning that another fact that contributed to the decimation of the run Chinook salmon population is considered to be cold water redistribution. Federal authorities point out that a large quantity of cold water was diverted from the dam in order to aid drought affected crops.
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