Greater numbers of wild coho salmon are expected to return to Puget Sound later this year, according to forecasts released last week, but threatened Puget Sound Chinook stocks are likely to see another decline. The 2021 salmon forecasts were announced Friday during an online video conference with sport and commercial fishers and other interested people (TVW telecast). The annual meeting serves to launch negotiations that, when completed in April, will prescribe fishing seasons for the coming summer and fall. Protecting so-called “weak stocks” from fishing pressure continues to be a […]
Tag: Coho salmon
The discovery of a mysterious chemical that kills coho salmon in urban streams is expected to spawn new research throughout the world while possibly inspiring new demands for protective regulations. The deadly chemical, associated with automobile tires, was identified by researchers at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Waters, which is affiliated with the Puget Sound Institute. The findings were published yesterday in the journal “Science.” I wrote about this discovery and more than 20 years of related scientific investigations in PSI’s online magazine “Salish Sea Currents.” “This is […]
Scientists have suspected for several years that chemicals from tire wear particles are to blame for the deaths of thousands of coho salmon that have returned to spawn in Puget Sound’s urban streams. Sometimes referred to as “pre-spawn mortality” or “urban runoff mortality syndrome,” these deaths typically occur in streams near roads, and scientists have been analyzing a wide variety of automobile-derived chemicals to see if they produced similar toxic effects. Now, thanks to some painstaking detective work by our partners at the University of Washington Center for Urban Waters […]
Manufacturers of automobile parts are facing their first deadline for removing copper from brake pads. Most seem to be well prepared to meet the new requirements under Washington state law. In 2010, Washington was the first state in the nation to outlaw copper in brake pads, after scientists discovered that the metal can severely affect the behavior of salmon. California soon followed, and by 2015 the industry came together with a nationwide agreement to phase out copper in brake pads. By the end of this year, new brake pads must […]
Hundreds of years ago, old-growth cedar and spruce loomed over estuaries and bottom lands throughout Puget Sound, creating what are known as tidal forests. These forests were the Pacific Northwest’s answer to the Everglades — giant spongy swamps with a touch of saltwater that made up some of the finest salmon habitat in the region. This week we travel to Otter Island, one of the last of these forests. It is a journey into Puget Sound’s past and maybe, scientists hope, its future. Read the full story in Salish Sea […]
Findings authored this month by University of Washington scientists at the Center for Urban Waters and their collaborators provide new insight into “urban runoff mortality syndrome” affecting Puget Sound coho. By Jeff Rice Chemicals linked to automobile tires have been found in stormwater associated with the widespread deaths of coho salmon in Puget Sound. The findings were presented this month in the journal Environmental Science & Technology and elevate tires as a prime suspect in “urban runoff mortality syndrome,” a condition that has been endangering coho salmon runs in the region. For […]
PSI collaborator Ed Kolodziej has received a $330,000 National Science Foundation grant to expand his research on toxic pollutants in Puget Sound. Kolodziej’s project will identify chemicals in stormwater that are killing coho salmon and endangering some spawning runs. The project includes a collaboration with citizen scientists who will alert project members to salmon die-offs as they are happening. Kolodziej’s team will then collect water and tissue samples from these sites that they will analyze at the labs of PSI’s parent group the Center for Urban Waters. Project summary In […]
Chemicals, disease and other stressors can increase a salmon’s chance of being eaten or reduce its ability to catch food. We wrap up our series on the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project with a look at some of the lesser-known, but still significant factors contributing to salmon declines in the Salish Sea. Read the story in Salish Sea Currents.
Stormwater may be Puget Sound’s most well-known pollutant, and at the same time its least known. While the state has called stormwater Puget Sound’s largest source of toxic contaminants, scientists are still having a tough time answering two basic questions about it: What is stormwater, exactly, and what does it do? Our magazine Salish Sea Currents looks at efforts by researchers to identify toxic chemicals in stormwater that may be killing large numbers of coho salmon in Puget Sound.