Warmer waters, predators reduce Atlantic salmon numbers

By on January 4, 2012

Though more Atlantic salmon are leaving the Gulf of Maine for the ocean than normal, fewer are returning to their freshwater birthplace to spawn. In a paper published in Fisheries Management and Ecology, researchers suggest that while at sea, the young salmon are dying due to warmer waters and increased predation.

Atlantic salmon once flourished in many New England rivers. Now, the endangered fish can be found only in Maine. Researchers examined spring wind patterns and ocean currents that could affect the salmon migration from the Gulf of Maine to the Atlantic Ocean. Due to warmer temperatures, the salmon’s habitat could shrink, even further reducing the numbers of adult salmon that return to freshwater to spawn.

Read more at nefsc.noaa.gov 

Image credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

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