The largest run of Pink salmon happened between 12 and 20 months after the Haida Indians iron seeding event in 2012. According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, the 2013 pink salmon harvest was the second most valuable on record. In the northeast Pacific, the Speaker reports that salmon catches have surged from 50 million to 226 million. In BC’s Fraser River, catches shot past the average 25 million to an unprecedented 72 million.
The iron fertilizer clearly triggered a very large plankton bloom visible from space.
[Fish and Wildlife Service] – Pink salmon mature at 2 years; spawn August – September over coarse gravel and sand, in riffles with moderate to fast currents.
More food could also help pink salmon get bigger to the catchable size. In the rich ocean environment salmon can grow rapidly, gaining more than a pound a month.
Although a single female salmon can lay 1,000 to 17,000 eggs, very few of those eggs actually survive from fertilization to maturity. An average of 3 fish returning for every parent fish that spawns would be considered good production. Many natural and human-related factors cause this high mortality.
Chinook: mature after 3-8 years; spawn July – August in large gravel and deep water with a strong current.
Sockeye: mature after 4-5 years; spawn in August in fine gravel (2-7 cm in diameter) on lake shoals or slack water in rivers.
Chum: mature after 3-5 years; spawn late July – August; spawn in gravel 2-3cm+ and upwelling currents in rivers or some shallow ponds or lakes.
Pink: mature at 2 years; spawn August – September over coarse gravel and sand, in riffles with moderate to fast currents.
Coho: mature at 4 years; spawn late September – December; utilize a wide range of spawning sites and currents, often in the farthest reaches of drainage.
There was an Initial Investigation of the North East Pacific Salmon Feeding Waters with Slocum Gliders
Coho, fall Chinook, and sockeye salmon returned from the Pacific Ocean to the Columbia River in record or near-record numbers in 2014. The daily count of fall Chinook on September 8 at Bonneville Dam, 67,521 fish, set a single-day counting record at the dam, where counting began in 1938. This was about triple the average daily levels from 2004-2013.
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