Fossil salmon found in Washington state

October 20, 2006

Scientists say that fossil salmon found on a riverbank in Washington state are sockeye from about 1 million years ago.

The fossils were found five years ago by anglers on the South Fork Skokomish River, The Olympian, an Olympia, Wash., newspaper, reported. They notified the Green Diamond Co., which owns the land, and the Skokomish Tribe.

Gerald Smith, a retired University of Michigan professor who examined the fossils, said that they date from the Pleistocene Age, when the northern part of North America was undergoing a series of glacial advances and retreats.

Patti Case, a Green Diamond spokeswoman, said that a few specimens were removed and the site was left otherwise intact. Its location is not being disclosed.

"It took a while for the scientists to agree on the identity and age of the fish," Case said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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