Salmon need cold water to hatch and grow strong enough to embark on migrations that stretch hundreds of miles from their places of birth. In California, dams constructed along various rivers have disrupted traditional salmon runs and are one reason the species has been in decline for decades. And, as climate change makes everything hotter, including the rivers, salmon spawning sites are at risk. This year, the situation became especially dire with numbers reaching near-record lows. In response, the Pacific Fishery Management Council made the drastic decision to cancel the salmon fishing season for 2023. But salmon advocates say that stopping the fishing season won’t fix state water management policies that have favored agriculture over fish habitats. For our next installment of Climate Fix, our monthly series examining global warming and solutions, we’ll talk about how climate change, severe weather and human behavior are exacerbating the challenges California salmon face.
Climate Fix: How California Can Help Salmon Survive Severe Weather...And Other Existential Threats
John McManus, Golden State Salmon Association
Danielle Venton, science reporter, KQED News
Jonathan Rosenfield Ph.D., senior scientist, San Francisco Baykeeper
Kasil Willie, staff attorney, Save California Salmon