Ocean conditions appear improving for salmon

first_imgOLYMPIA — Warm water temperatures in the north Pacific Ocean are starting to cool after three years, but their effect on Northwest salmon will persist for another year or two.“Strange times, but things are looking up, that’s the message,’’ said Marisa Litz of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.Litz made her comments on Tuesday at the agency’s annual unveiling of Columbia River, coastal and Puget Sound salmon forecasts. She recently completed her doctorate from Oregon State University in Fisheries Science, focusing on how variable ocean conditions affect growth and survival of young salmon in the Northwest.Tuesday’s meeting began a six-week process that concludes with the Pacific Fishery Management Council adopting ocean salmon fishing seasons in mid-April.The “blob,’’ a huge pool of warm water in the north Pacific Ocean, formed in December 2013, Litz said. Sea surface temperatures were 2 to 4 degrees warmer than normal.last_img

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