More bad news on the fish front
According to a new report the advocacy group California Trout, 65 percent of the state’s native salmon, steelhead and trout species may be extinct within the next century. To see the whole report click here. It was written by Dr. Peter Moyle of the University of California, Davis.
“The report’s findings indicate that the state’s native salmonids are in unprecedented decline and are teetering towards the brink of extinction – an alarm bell that signals the deteriorating health of the state’s rivers and streams that provide drinking water to millions of Californians. It’s also a sign that fish are likely to be struggling nationwide in this era of global warming, water diversions, and rapid development into previously uninhabited areas,” the organization said.
Salt and freshwater fisheries almost everywhere are in decline. Overharvesting, poor management of commercial fisheries, habitat destruction, climate change, dams — you name it, the inhabitants of our aquatic ecosystems are in trouble.
Anadromous fish such as salmon — which spawn in freshwater but spend most of their adult lives in the sea — have nowhere to run (well, swim). They get hammered by trawlers at sea and by pressure on their spawning grounds when they return to freshwater. The salmon’s life-cycle is one of the most arduous but compelling narratives in nature, from its birthplace in streams to the open sea and back again. It is a journey that is increasingly fraught with danger from California’s coast to the Baltic Sea.
But the report also highlights the success of restoration efforts which show that when blocked flows are reinstated and migration barriers removed, native fish stocks show signs of recovery.