National Fisherman

RICHLAND, Wash. -- Ocean conditions such as current directions and water temperature play a huge role in determining the behavior of young migrating salmon as they move from rivers and hit ocean waters for the first time, according to new research.
 
The findings, from ecologists at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, focus on a perilous period in the life of salmon.
 
After their birth in fresh water, salmon migrate to the ocean, where they must quickly adapt to an environment unlike anything they’ve experienced before –- deep water full of new predators, with strong currents and competition from all sides.
 
How the fish fare during their first few weeks in the ocean has a profound impact on species’ ability to survive into adulthood.
 
The results show that young salmon scatter in all directions as they first enter the ocean, which is contrary to previous assumptions that most salmon head north immediately after leaving the Columbia River.
 
“It’s becoming clear that the first few weeks after salmon enter the ocean from their freshwater homes is a crucial time,” said Geoff McMichael, the PNNL scientist who led the study, which was published recently in Animal Biotelemetry.
 
“Much of their health and the success of their subsequent runs upstream to start the next generation are dictated by those first few weeks in the ocean,'' he said. "Conditions such as water temperature, food availability and the number of predators are critical. Everything we can learn about salmon behavior during this critical time could help managers restore their stocks more effectively.''.
 
The team found that much of the fish’s initial behavior and chance of survival were determined by factors beyond anyone’s control, such as the movement of ocean currents.
 
Under certain conditions, for instance when the ocean is unusually warm, Pacific hake –- a fish that McMichael calls a “voracious predator” –- are more likely to come closer to the mouth of the river and feast on salmon.
 
Read the full story at the Columbian>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 9/9/14

In this episode:

Seafood Watch upgrades status of 21 fish species
Calif. bill attacking seafood mislabeling approved
Ballot item would protect Bristol Bay salmon
NOAA closes cod, yellowtail fishing areas
Pacific panel halves young bluefin harvest

National Fisherman Live: 8/26/14

In this episode, National Fisherman Publisher Jerry Fraser talks about his early days dragging for redfish on the Vandal.

Inside the Industry

The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative is introducing its Chef Ambassador Program. Created to inspire and educate chefs and home cooks across the country about the unique qualities of lobster from Maine, the program showcases how it can be incorporated into a range of inspired culinary dishes.

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More than a dozen higher education institutions and federal and local fishery management agencies and organizations in American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii have signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at building the capacity of the U.S. Pacific Island territories to manage their fisheries and fishery-related resources.

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