Scientists at NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) have noticed signs of what what could be a very large El Niño event brewing along the equator, which has a chance to bring much needed rainfall to California next winter.
NOAA closely monitors a series of buoys which measure temperature, currents and winds in the equatorial band…and what forecasters are seeing at the moment is potentially huge. In the simplest of terms, an El Niño event is highlighted by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific, which can dramatically affect weather worldwide.
In California, El Niños can sometimes lead to vast amounts of rainfall, which would obviously be a welcome relief after three consecutive years of drought. Scientists say that current conditions strongly resemble those observed in the lead-up to the powerful 1997-1998 El Nino event, which brought the west a lot of rain. But things can change since it is so early in the season. And scientists also caution that there’s no guarantee that an El Niño winter will bring ample rainfall. We’re just going to have to wait and see..
Now, there is a downside to El Niño years too. They result in a rise in sea surface temperatures — which can cause drastic declines in ocean productivity in our region. Food chains are adversely affected and salmon and steelhead populations, in particular, can be hit hard.
The San Joaquin River is screwed. Once home to one of the largest spring runs of Chinook salmon on the entire West Coast, it’s been reduced to a trickle — and in some cases, dry riverbed — thanks to outdated water rights interests and other diversions.
Conditions are so bad, in fact, that the San Joaquin was named The #1 Most Endangered River in the Country for 2014.
And it gets worse…
The river’s beleaguered salmon population got a shot in the arm awhile back when an agreement was reached to allow more water to flow down the river. However, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation [H.R. 3964] that would override the settlement and prevent restoration. But gutting environmental protections won’t make it rain, folks!
It’s time to step up and stop the madness…
Just fill out the following form and send an email to Senators Boxer and Feinstein to ask that they don’t lend their support to H.R. 3964. It only takes about 30 seconds! Sign the letter HERE
The evidence is pretty overwhelming: Salmon farms are posing a huge threat to wild salmon runs on the West Coast of North America, Chile and Scotland. While I understand that the demand for seafood worldwide is insatiable and fish farming is probably the only way to keep up with demand as the oceans get depleted…but there has to be a better way of going about it!
In a nutshell, there are a few major issues associated with salmon farms and I’m going to try and break these down for you here…
First off, sea lice collect in huge numbers around and below salmon pens. Returning adult salmon can handle some of these parasites, the out-migrating juvenile wild fish run into these massive walls of lice and get devoured.
Another major problem that is rearing its ugly head is the amount of disease coming out of the farmed areas. In British Columbia, for example, researchers are finding that wild salmon are being infected with all sorts of deadly virus and other pathogens as they migrate through areas where the fish farming occurs. Though the farms may be located well back in bays and fiords, the outgoing tides will wash the heavily infected water from the farms out into wild migration routes.
Salmon in British Columbia are showing up bleeding and yellowed and unable to spawn. And it’s not isolated to the north country, either. Our California fish swim through some of those same migration routes and I had some photos sent to me this year of yellow Chinook from the American River.
And finally, farmed salmon is terrible for you. This is a no-brainer considering they have to add orange color to the stuff to make it look like real salmon! A single serving of farmed salmon can contain roughly 3 times the toxins the US EPA has established for adults and nearly 6 times the tolerable level for a child. Mercury, PCBs, Dioxins, PENTACHLORO-BENZENE, etc etc etc. Check this out: WHAT’S IN FARMED SALMON?
This stuff is serious, folks and there’s big money behind the farms so we can expect things to get worse before they get better. Obviously, it points out what we already know: A healthy ocean and healthy spawning rivers is a way better approach. Wild salmon (hatchery reared-fish too) are the way to go!
Alexandra Morton is doing a lot of amazing research on this subject. What she is finding is incredibly alarming!
Read more below…
These two are just the first of many. Plugging for salmon and bait fishing for stripers will be out in the not-too-distant future. With the whole guidebook series I’m trying to give you what amounts to a “users manual” for each subject, complete with detailed diagrams and photos. The idea here is to take the mystery out of catching fish. And the other concept I’m trying to keep the costs reasonable. Most books will retail for less than the cost of one lure!
Check out the first two below…
Light Tackle Surf Perch $2.99
After a battle that lasted longer than a complete American League baseball game, Donna Pascoe landed this immense 907-lb. Pacific Bluefin Tuna while fishing off New Zealand’s Three Kings area.
In the meantime, I hope Donna has a lot of wasabi on hand!
The rivers of Russia’s far east look amazing…and so too do those giant sea-run Taimen!