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Salmon Returns Depend on Ocean

by Staff
BPA Journal, January 2006

Conclusions from studies of Northwest salmon migrations strongly point to ocean conditions as a major factor in the numbers of adult salmon that return to spawn. Two scientists from British Columbia told the Pacific Northwest Power and Conservation Council that smolt survival in the Columbia River system seemed reasonably high.

Dr. David Welch said, "The problem is the deficit of adults coming back." Welch went on to say, "There's a tremendous amount of effort being put into how [the Columbia and Snake river stocks] get past the dams, but the mortalities that are happening in-river are insufficient to explain the overall decline" in the percentage of adults that return.

BPA funded the research following the emergency power operations of 2000-01.

Salmon Returns Depend on Ocean
BPA Journal, January 2006

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