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: NOAA's Marine Debris Program reports on the national issue of derelict fishing traps

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Speckled beetle key to saving crops in Ethiopia

Aug 22, 2014

(Phys.org) —An invasive weed poses a serious and frightening threat to farming families in Ethiopia, but scientists from a Virginia Tech-led program have unleashed a new weapon in the fight against hunger: ...

France fights back Asian hornet invader

Aug 20, 2014

They slipped into southwest France 10 years ago in a pottery shipment from China and have since invaded more than half the country, which is fighting back with drones, poisoned rods and even chickens.

Progress in the fight against harmful fungi

Aug 20, 2014

A group of researchers at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories has created one of the three world's largest gene libraries for the Candida glabrata yeast, which is harmful to humans. Molecular analysis of the Candida ...

Recommended for you

New study charts the global invasion of crop pests

10 hours ago

Many of the world's most important crop-producing countries will be fully saturated with pests by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a new study led by the University of Exeter.

Zambia lifts ban on safari hunting

12 hours ago

Zambia has lifted a 20-month ban on safari hunting because it has lost too much revenue, but lions and leopards will remain protected, the government said Wednesday.

The devastating spread of the mountain pine beetle

19 hours ago

When the mountain pine beetle began blazing a path across forests in British Columbia and Alberta, nobody could have imagined the extent of the damage to come. But as the insect devastated pine forests and ...

User comments : 0