A report generated by several groups (including UC Davis) suggests that climate change could eventually wipe out California’s spring-run Chinook salmon if water regimes aren’t modified to protect them:
Warming streams could spell the end of spring-run Chinook salmon in California by the end of the century, according to a study by scientists at UC Davis, the Stockholm Environment Institute and the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
There are options for managing water resources to protect the salmon runs, although they would impact hydroelectric power generation, said Lisa Thompson, director of the Center for Aquatic Biology and Aquaculture at UC Davis. A paper describing the study is published online this week by the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management.
“There are things that we can do so that we have the water we need and also have something left for the fish,” Thompson said.
There’s no denying the effect dams have on anadromous fish, but since so many aren’t going anywhere, new strategies must be developed to protect fish suffering in the face of climate change.