Thursday, September 20, 2012

Klamath Seeing Record Chinook Returns

The Klamath River was once one of the worlds greatest Chinook producing rivers, and while a century of dam building, irrigation withdrawls, and over harvest has diminished the system, it remains a prolific  producer of the King of Salmon. This year, buoyed by a strong parent cohort, and good marine conditions, the Klamath is expected to see a total run of around 1.6 million Chinook, with an estimated 380,000 fish expected to make it through the fishery.

More information in the Eureka Times-Standard
http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_21381209/reeling-them-record-klamath-salmon-returns-mean-good

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have a question about the use of the phrase "record returns". Nobody - EVER - when they use this phrase, gives a baseline year or fish count number. Are we talking about "record" meaning "all-time"? Are we talking about "record" meaning "since 1960"? Or "since 2000"?

Or does it mean a "record" number since a fish population crashed?

If this particular word is used somewhere every year without qualification, what does this particular word really mean? It just serves to confuse and mollify people about the current state of affairs. A "record return" I think for most people means that things are good, and the runs are healthy, and therefore why take action or donate or concern yourself.

It seems like a similar problem to the fish counts offshore. Fisheries are closed when the numbers "crash" but then they reopen a few years later when the numbers are "up". Does "up" mean 1% of historical numbers or does "up" mean the populations are at 90% of the historical mean and therefore harvesting of fish can resume without "serious" impact?

If you are opening the fishing season because numbers are "up" but they are still only 5% of the historical mean, how are populations EVER going to recover?

Just sayin.

Osprey said...

a very valid point indeed. in this case I've assumed that "record" returns refers to the largest run since the collapse. certainly the current run size pales in comparison to historic abundance on the Klamath. The media does tend to be guilty of having very short memories, offering very little context and alot of sensationalism when it comes to year to year variation in salmon abundance. Apologies that we didn't take the time/expend the mental energy to clarify that.