Invasives threaten salmon in Pacific Northwest

Mar 02, 2009

Many native fishes in the Pacific Northwest are threatened or endangered, notably salmonids, and hundreds of millions of dollars are expended annually on researching their populations and on amelioration efforts.

Most of the attention and funding have been directed toward to the impacts of habitat alteration, hatcheries, harvest, and the hydrosystem--the "all H's." A study published in the March 2009 issue of BioScience concludes, however, that nonindigenous species, notably invasive fishes, appear to pose at least as much of a threat to native salmonids as the all H's, principally through predation.

The study, by Beth L. Sanderson of the Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington and two colleagues, made use of a spatially explicit database that identified the presence of invasive species in roughly 1800-square-kilometer, hydrologically connected areas throughout Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. The number of invasive species in each area ranged between 86 and 486, the majority being plants and fish.

Sanderson and colleagues assembled reports of predation by six nonindigenous fish species: catfish, black and white crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, and yellow perch. Hundreds of thousands to millions of juvenile salmonids were being consumed by these species at just a handful of sites, and for some of the species, salmonids constituted a large fraction of their diet. Yet despite the clear evidence of a substantial impact of invasive species on economically important salmonids, only a very small percentage of research funding is devoted to the potential harms to salmon resulting from invasives.

Source: American Institute of Biological Sciences

Explore further: China officials dine on endangered salamander: reports

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Stepping stones to NASA's human missions beyond

Jan 21, 2015

"That's one small step for (a) man; one giant leap for mankind." When Neil Armstrong took his first steps on the moon, many strides came before to achieve that moment in history. The same is true for a human ...

Helping native birds beat their bullies

Dec 30, 2014

Small Australian native birds are losing food and home to a growing flock of rivals, including native birds arriving from other states, invasive alien birds and those that thrive in urban areas, environmental scientists have ...

Recommended for you

China officials dine on endangered salamander: reports

1 hour ago

Chinese officials feasted on a critically endangered giant salamander and turned violent when journalists photographed the luxury banquet, according to media reports Tuesday on the event which appeared to ...

Obama recommends extended wilderness zone in Alaska

Jan 25, 2015

US President Barack Obama said Sunday he would recommend a large swath of Alaska be designated as wilderness, the highest level of federal protection, in a move likely to anger oil proponents.

Uganda seizes massive ivory and pangolin haul

Jan 25, 2015

Ugandan wildlife officers have seized a huge haul of elephant ivory and pangolin scales, representing the deaths of hundreds of endangered animals, police said Sunday.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.