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Chinook salmon fishing off the California coast will be suspended until next spring due to the near-record-low number of fish returning to the state’s rivers to spawn. The Pacific Fishery Management Council, a federal commission overseeing West Coast fisheries, made the recommendation, which awaits approval by the National Marine Fisheries Service by May 16. This unprecedented measure, unseen in 14 years, would temporarily ban both commercial and recreational salmon fishing in California and much of Oregon’s coast until 2024.

Source: KGW News/Youtube

One of the primary reasons behind the dwindling Chinook salmon population is the impact of drought, farming, and grazing on their habitats. Salmon rely on clean and cold water, particularly in rivers and streams where they migrate and spawn. However, California’s extreme drought has significantly reduced the availability of suitable water for these fish.

Farming and grazing practices further exacerbate the problem by contaminating waterways with sediments and chemicals. These factors have taken a toll on the salmon population, with federal researchers predicting fewer than 170,000 adult fall Chinook salmon returning to the Sacramento River this year and fewer than 104,000 reaching the Klamath River.

The last time the region halted its salmon fishing season was in 2009, when approximately 122,200 adult fall Chinook salmon were forecasted to return to the Sacramento River. According to federal researchers, the Sacramento River fall Chinook salmon are now approaching an overfished condition.

Given the critical situation, with 23 out of 31 genetically distinct salmon and trout species in California at risk of extinction within the next century, it is essential to focus on addressing the issues of drought, farming, and grazing. The recent wetter weather in California and the largest river restoration and dam removal project in the country’s history at the Klamath Basin offer some hope for recovering the salmon population.

Now is the time to Support efforts to protect and restore rivers and their ecosystems. Encourage policies that promote responsible water use, sustainable agriculture, and the preservation of vital habitats. By raising awareness and supporting organizations that fight for environmental Conservation, we can help safeguard the future of Chinook salmon and other endangered species in the face of drought, farming, and grazing challenges.

Everything nutritious that people believe they are getting from fish can get from other sources. Check out How to Ditch Fish Oil for Plant-Based Sources and Why Flaxseed Oil is Healthier than Fish Oil. Fish often have been exposed to many toxic chemicals like mercury which the consumer then eats when they eat the fish. Fish are also sentient creatures and can feel pain. There is no reason that we need to continue to eat these animals. There are so many plant-based options that you can choose from, including this newly released Vegan Salmon and Tuna Sushi!

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