Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bad Year for Salmon

The salmon run looks very bad so far this year, but they could just be late.

Central Valley salmon largely absent from fall run - but why?
Jane Kay, Chronicle Environment Writer
Tuesday, October 30, 2007

This year's Central Valley fall salmon run is worrying both fishermen and biologists, who say fewer of the prized chinook are out in the ocean or making it up the rivers to spawn.

By this time, usually tens of thousands more fish are being hooked by fishermen or are swimming through the Golden Gate to the tributaries of San Francisco Bay. Upstream, the fish spawn in the same rivers where they were born, carrying on the generations of silvery king salmon.

Yet commercial fishermen who hunt for salmon in the ocean from Monterey to Bodega before the fish start their journey up the rivers report the worst salmon fishing in decades.

Fisheries biologists in Northern California who count the salmon that return up the American, Feather and Sacramento rivers are seeing a big decline in fish for this time of year. Some runs might have as few as 20 to 25 percent of the fish normally expected by this time of year, data show.

The salmon run could just be a little late this year, say state Fish and Game Department officials. On the Klamath and Trinity river systems, biologists say the salmon are about three to four weeks late, but they think the fish will come eventually.