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Chinook run to be smaller, predicts NOAA

Posted: Friday, Mar 17th, 2017


Warmer waters and smaller juvenile Chinnok in 2015 will likely mean anglers in search of spring catches will have a tougher time this season.


Fisheries managers have been predicting a slightly below-average run of spring Chinook salmon on the Columbia River this year but a newly published suggests that it may be worse.

According to researchers from Oregon State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ocean conditions were historically bad in the spring of 2015, when migrating yearling fish that will comprise the bulk of this spring’s adult Chinook salmon run first went out to sea.

In fact, Pacific Decadal Oscillation values — which reflect warm and cold sea surface temperatures — suggest it was one of the warmest nearshore oceans encountered by migrating Chinook salmon dating back to at least 1900.

The lack of food for the salmon in 2015 may have resulted in significant mortality that will show in this year’s run of Columbia River springers. One way or another, it will provide new information on fish survival and whether juvenile salmon prey data can help resource managers predict future returns.

Results of the research, which was funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and NOAA, have just been published in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.

About 80 percent of a typical spring Chinook run on the Columbia River come from fish that went out to sea as yearlings two years earlier, according to lead author Elizabeth Daly, a senior faculty research assistant with the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resource Studies, jointly operated by OSU and NOAA out of the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport.

For the complete article see the 03-18-2017 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 03-18-2017 paper.


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Keywords: Chinook salmon, run, smaller, NOAA, florence, oregon











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