In the wake of floods, what’s next for Salmon in the Pacific Northwest?
An Fishes Article from

December 2021

Depending how badly floodwaters churned up river bottoms, many salmon eggs could have been unearthed from their hiding place, swept into the water column and died.

Salmon on flooded road
Salmon spotted "swimming" across the road as days of heavy rain results in flooding along the Skokomish River in western Washington state - ABC news Tweet, November 18, 2021.

As Washington state’s salmon remain poised on “the brink of extinction,” this year’s severe flooding could prove to be a wild card for their health and well-being.

Standing outside his house in Blanchard, Washington, water up to his thighs, Kevin Morse watched in awe as a few salmon — usually found in a nearby creek — swam across his driveway. His son spotted several more later that night while ferrying friends across the property in a canoe.

Morse is just one of thousands of people across western Washington and British Columbia who experienced severe flooding in mid-November. A potent atmospheric river storm — a long, narrow corridor of tropical water vapor that, when forced upward by obstacles like mountain ranges, condenses and sheds moisture — dumped massive amounts of rainfall, sometimes up to half an inch an hour, on the region. Bellingham, Washington, received more rain between Nov. 14 and 15 than it usually does in the entire month. Rivers like the Skagit and Nooksack spilled over their banks, and salmon, like the ones Morse saw on his driveway, were washed out of their streams. Mudslides wiped out roadways, and three out of every four homes in Sumas, Washington, were damaged by floodwaters.


Please read the ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE (PDF).

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