One editorial even suggested we might just have to stop eating salmon for a while.
But today there is a bit of surprisingly good news about the popular fish.
Newsday reports that federal oceanographer Bill Peterson of NOAA Fisheries in Newport, Oregon, says that the change in cycle of an atmospheric condition known as the Pacific Decadal Oscillation has brought cold water flows from the Gulf of Alaska, which are carrying an abundance of tiny animals known as copepods that are the foundation of the food chain.
This flip-flop in atmospheric conditions is now creating a feast for salmon and other sea life off the West Coast.
Peterson said in the article that ocean surveys of chinook salmon in June found lots of yearling juveniles, which should grow up to be plentiful stocks of adults by 2010.
Ed Bowles, fisheries chief for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, mentions in the article that salmon that spend most of their time close to the coast, including fall chinook, coho and Willamette River spring chinook, should get the most from the change, but crab, ling cod, rockfish, sea birds and other ocean life will benefit too.
He is quoted in the article: "Overall, we are seeing more years of poor ocean conditions than we are good. This is a welcome respite in what more typically has been discouraging news."
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