Wetland Science News

Warming climate will add to habitat woes for Pacific NW salmon

By Rebecca Lindsey – NOAA ClimateWatch Magazine – February 23, 2012

Each summer, migrating salmon in the Pacific Northwest face thermal "roadblocks"—stretches of rivers where the water temperature exceeds about 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius). That might sound like a chilly swim to us, but for a wide range of salmon species, it's the temperature at which conditions can go from being merely stressful to potentially fatal. Faced with these thermal roadblocks, fish are forced to seek out pockets of deeper, cooler water and wait for summer's heat to fade before they resume their journey to their spawning grounds. For full story, click here.