Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, December 16, 2011

What Caused the Hole in the Local Salmon Population?

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Baby Coho salmon: worth  protecting. - UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS

In the latest episode of their new science podcast, Field Trip, local journalists Kara Platoni and Eric Simons set out to ask the question: Why exactly are all the fish in the ocean disappearing, and how do we measure how quickly the dieoff is happening? Among the people they interview in their 30-minute program is Berkeley fisherman Mike Hudson, who docks in the Berkeley Marina. Thanks to a sudden, steep drop in the local salmon population that appeared several years ago, Hudson's annual time out on the boat dropped from five months of 80-hour weeks a year to nine days. Some days, he can't recoup his fuel costs.

Why did the salmon disappear so suddenly? The answer isn't just "We ate them all," it turns out -- rather, it has much more with the impact of commercial agriculture on rivers, which prevented a generation of baby salmon from making it back to the ocean after their parents labored so hard to swim upstream to lay eggs. Overpumping, fertilizer runoff, climate change -- all these factors have come together to kill off our local salmon populations. And so the solution, it appears, is going to be just as complex as the problem.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie, and like us on Facebook.
Follow me at @JonKauffman.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , ,

About The Author

Jonathan Kauffman


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"