Federal Fish Managers Brace For Another Warm Year In The Northwest | KUOW News and Information

Federal Fish Managers Brace For Another Warm Year In The Northwest

Oct 28, 2015
Originally published on October 28, 2015 3:14 pm

The summer’s early snowmelt, record temperatures and drought in the Northwest killed young hatchery fish and adult fish returning to spawn. And federal experts are expecting 2016 to be even worse for fish.

Seventy U.S. Fish & Wildlife managers passed around a microphone this week in a hotel conference room. They told scary stories about warm Northwest water. The Columbia River heated up this summer, and nearly the entire run of returning sockeye was lost.

Susan Gutenberger is a federal Fish & Wildlife manager. She said the salmon went up tributaries -- and still died.

“There were hundreds of them,” she said. “And then of course they had fungus but they also had a couple of other problems.”

Several Northwest federal fish hatcheries lost fish to disease or had to evacuate fish to other facilities. Fish experts hope for deep snowpack and predict a need to redesign hatcheries for warmer weather.

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