California drought helps coho salmon migration

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — California’s massive drought has spelled bad news for many of the state’s fish. But in a strange twist, it appears to have been a boon to coho salmon migrating from a Northern California creek.
 
Nearly 20,000 juvenile coho swam out of the Lagunitas Creek in Marin County into the ocean this spring, the largest salmon migration since scientists started tracking fish outflow from the creek in 2006, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
 
The migration bump is due to the lack of rain this year, scientists say. Juvenile coho, also known as silver salmon, normally gather in the lower reaches of the Lagunitas before heading to sea.
 
But the abundance of coho there means some get bumped out.
 
This year, the fish were trapped in small tributaries because of the drought. Since they didn’t make it to the lower Lagunitas, they weren’t driven away.
 
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