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Seattle Times, Nov 7, 2017 (emphasis added): Gulf of Alaska cod populations appear to have nose-dived, a collapse fishery scientists believe is linked to warm water… “They get weak and die or get eaten by something else,” said [NOAA’s Steve Barbeaux]… The 2017 trawl net survey found the lowest numbers of cod on record… Scientists are trying to unravel what happened… a lot of the cod hatched in 2012 appeared to survive… But by 2017, those fish were largely gone for the surveys, which also found scant evidence of fish born in subsequent years… Many of the cod that have come on board trawlers are long skinny fish… according to Brent Paine, executive director off United Catcher Boats… “This is a big deal,” Paine said. “We just don’t see these (cod) year classes disappear from one year to the next”…
KBBI, Nov 6, 2017: Cod numbers in the Gulf of Alaska fall dramatically — The North Pacific Fishery Management Council… received some shocking news last month… NOAA surveys show that cod were the skinniest on record in 2015, but fish didn’t just get smaller. Natural mortality rates also skyrocketed for some important age classes of cod… This isn’t the first time cod stocks have taken dive in the Gulf… but Barbeaux said this time is different. “The difference between then and now is we don’t see any recruitment coming in”…
Seafood Source, Oct 17, 2017: Gulf of Alaska cod stocks at all-time lows — Pacific cod numbers in the Gulf of Alaska are at all-time lows, according to early looks at data collected from the 2017 summer survey… Biologists survey Alaska cod every other summer, and this year’s Gulf of Alaska count represents… an 83 percent drop from 2015… “If you look at the condition of the fish during that time period, it’s the worst we’ve seen; condition meaning their lowest weight at length for those particular year classes. It means they were starving…” Barbeaux said…
Vancouver Sun, Nov 2, 2017: Salmon returns just keep getting worse on the Fraser River… There was a one-in-10 chance that the pink returns would be as low as 4.4 million, but the results were even worse. “It was much less, obviously much poorer than expected,” Mike Lapointe, chief biologist with the Pacific Salmon Commission, said… The estimated fry-to-adult survival rate of 1.6 per cent this year is half the average of 3.2 per cent… The dismal pink returns are in line with previously reported poor sockeye returns… He said no one really knows why ocean survival has been so poor… “All we know is they didn’t come back“…
KTVZ, Nov 1, 2017: Scientists shocked: Where did ocean salmon go?… Juvenile salmon, observed in near-normal numbers in the Columbia River estuary, seemed to disappear in the ocean, NOAA Fisheries scientist Brian Burke reported… NOAA researchers found almost no juvenile salmon… Catches of smelt, herring, and anchovy, forage fish for birds and other species, also were also low. “Chinook and coho just weren’t there,” Burke said… a researcher in Alaska who normally catches juvenile Columbia River spring Chinook and coho smolts in the summer caught none this year, NOAA salmon researcher Lauri Weitcamp said…
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The Yurok Tribe is bracing for the far-reaching economic, cultural, and social challenges created by what is expected to be the most catastrophic fisheries collapse in the Klamath River’s history. The number of fall Chinook salmon predicted to return… is the lowest on record… This unprecedented fisheries crash will have real consequences for the Yurok people… “This is a nightmare. I have never in my life dreamed that it could get this bad,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., Chairman of the Yurok Tribe… The bleak 2017 forecast is linked to a three-punch combination, comprised of two straight years of extremely elevated juvenile fish disease levels, diminished river conditions and poor ocean health… “We are in crisis mode… [this is] the most terrible fisheries disaster in the Tribe’s history,” said Chairman O’Rourke.
KRCR News, Mar 24, 2017: The Yurok Tribe announced Friday that they are preparing for what they are calling, “The most catastrophic fisheries collapse in the Klamath River’s history.“ Yurok officials said that the amount Chinook salmon predicted to return to the river in 2017 is… the lowest number on record.
KRCR News transcript excerpt, Mar 24, 2017: “The Yurok Tribe is announcing a major disaster. They’ve been bracing for what they are expecting to be one of the most catastrophic fisheries collapse in the history of the Klamath River. The number of fall Chinook salmon predicted to return to the river this year is the lowest on record, that’s according to the tribe.”
Anderson Valley Advertiser, Mar 22, 2017: Salmon Runs Crash… With record low runs forecasted, the commercial and recreational ocean Chinook salmon fishing seasons in the Klamath Management Zone (KMZ) from Southern Oregon to north of Shelter Cove will be closed this season… Ocean salmon abundance is expected to be so low this year that the Pacific Fishery Management Council… is considering a statewide closure of the commercial Chinook salmon season… A PFMC press release… stated that “drought, disease, poor ocean conditions and other issues” are expected to reduce Klamath River Chinook salmon returns to a record low level… [Mike Burner, the PFMC’s deputy director said] “we are in unprecedented territory.”
The Record, Mar 21, 2017: Scientists believe the numbers of adult chinook salmon in the ocean this year are so low that recreational and commercial fishing seasons up and down the California coast will be drastically reduced…
Oregon Public Broadcasting, Mar 13, 2017: The West Coast is on track for a meager and potentially disastrous salmon season… [Butch Smith, who chairs an advisory panel that helps the Pacific Fishery Management Council set salmon seasons] this year may end up being considered a coast-wide fishing failure.
Yurok Tribe predicts lowest number of salmon in Klamath on record
lowest number of salmon in Klamath on…
KLAMATH, Calif. – The Yurok Tribe announced Friday that they are preparing for what they are calling, “The most catastrophic fisheries collapse in the Klamath River’s history.“
Yurok officials said that the amount Chinook salmon predicted to return to the river in 2017 is around 11,000 fish. This would be the lowest number on record, according to the Yurok Tribe.
“This is a nightmare. I have never in my life dreamed that it could get this bad,” said Thomas P. O’Rourke Sr., Chairman of the Yurok Tribe. “This is devastating to our people, not only physically but emotionally. It’s saddening and hard to believe.”
Yurok Tribe officials said that the 2017 allocation, which is set by the Pacific Fisheries Management Council, will most likely be 650 fish. That equates to one fish for every 10 tribal members.
The tribe explained the cause of the low numbers is largely due to two consecutive juvenile fish disease outbreaks.
The Yurok Tribe added the disease is heightened by the presence of the four Klamath Dams, which are a primary driver of the juvenile disease problem and water quality issues.
The Yurok Tribe said they are working hard to ensure the dam removal process continues as planned and salmon can return to the upper reaches of the river.
If the dams are removed, the Yurok Tribe said it will be a major step toward the restoration of the Klamath River.
Last week, the Yurok Tribal Council held a special work session to begin developing a strategy to make up for the loss of fish and fishing income.
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