Trouble For Salmon

Trouble For Salmon

Trouble For Salmon. I’m Greg Martin with Washington Ag Today.

Sockeye salmon have been the latest victims of the recent warm temperatures. Ronald Roler, Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife says they have been working to do whatever they can to help.

ROLER: I’m hoping we’re down to kind of the end of that thing and the runs kind of tapering off and I think mortality is - it got really hot and we lost a bunch of fish right in the three-pool area. The Snake River sockeye are probably the hardest hit. They don’t have as big of numbers. They’re a listed species and it looks like they’re destined to lose half or more of their run coming back to the Snake.

He says the water in the Snake right now is still pretty warm.

ROLER: So they’ve got to be careful with what they do and they’;re trying to figure out ways to get cool water to them, reducing spill, increasing water through the turbines because that comes from deep so they’re trying different things to make sure they get survival for them.

The warm water causes two problems the fish need to overcome. Bacteria and low oxygen levels.

ROLER: I’ve heard all sorts of numbers kicked around as far as half the run, 80% of the runout in reality I think that (we’re) not going to know numbers for sure until they get back to spawning grounds and get a chance to count them. Right now the Wenatchee they have reached their escapement, they even opened up the fishery end, Lake Wenatchee. The Okanagan, I think that there’s plenty of fish up there staged at the mouth of the Okanagan waiting for the Okanagan to cool off so they can go on up.

And that’s Washington Ag Today. I’m Greg Martin, thanks for listening on the Ag Information Network of the West.

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