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Orcasphere » Orcas to come up empty mouthed in CA?
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Orcas to come up empty mouthed in CA?


The southern residents typically migrate all the way down to California’s Monterey Bay, often arriving there in January.  The presumably feed on salmon returning to or departing WA, OR, and CA rivers.   Below is an interesting article — in part because  members of all three pods have been sighted in the Salish Sea multiple times this November.  It is becoming past the time of year when L and K pods have typically departed for points unknown west of Cape Flattery.  Ken is putting up posters along the outer coast in preparation for their transit southward.  At what point in the decline of CA salmon will the orcas discern that it is no longer worth the trek to Monterey?

This article also speaks volumes about an issue that has been focusing my attention recently: no one in the killer whale and salmon communities in the Pacific Northwest seems to be talking to each other, nor is there open discussion of the “big picture orca/salmon.”   It’s fascinating that the same lack of perspective has persisted in California salmon science. There are heroes akin to Moyle up here — scientists who think at the right integrative level and speak for the endangered species — like Fred “It’s the ecosystem, stupid” Felleman and Ken Balcomb — check out his most recent MASTERFUL synopsis of the orca population trends and salmon abundance.  But we need much, much more of that.  It all makes me wonder whether WDFW/DFO will end up getting a slap on the wrist like the one CA Fish and Game may get.

clipped from www.contracostatimes.com

Expert sends out SOS for California’s fish

Two-thirds of California’s native salmon, trout and steelhead are headed for extinction unless major changes are made to the way the state’s rivers are managed and protected, according to a report by one of the state’s top fish experts.

“I was surprised that nobody has done an overview of what’s happening to California trout and salmon. Nobody was looking at the big picture,” Moyle said.
Still, Moyle said the breadth of the problem was escaping notice because biologists all were focused on problems with the particular species and rivers in which they were interested.
“You always had the feeling that somewhere there were good populations,” Moyle said. “Things were much worse off collectively than I thought they were.”
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