Vancouver Sun, Aug 30, 2014 (emphasis added): Sockeye salmon… are showing up this year with chunks taken out of their bodies, raising concerns about the [parasitic Pacific] lamprey’s impact on the spawning migration. Rick Jeffries, a former commercial fisherman who is in charge of marketing a Secwepemc aboriginal commercial fishery in Kamloops Lake, said more than 50 per cent of the sockeye have bite marks, some with multiple bites cutting right to the flesh. “We’re alarmed at what we’re seeing,” he said in an interview Friday. “These are significant wounds that must adversely influence the sockeye’s probability to survive.”… Lara Sloan, spokeswoman for the federal fisheries department, confirmed that sockeye in the Thompson River system this season have been caught with circular markings that could be from lampreys, but the exact cause cannot be confirmed without testing.
Salmon wounds this year — Warning- graphic pictures, Fish Sniffer Forum, Aug 23, 2014:
- I’m seeing more pics posted with wounded river fish. I don’t think any of my fish last year had these wounds.
- I also heard that a lot of fish are being dragged in like wet socks. They go on one run for the deep and then submit… Whatever it is, it’s not good I’m sure… The dead fish I’ve seen have also had these on them.
- I’ve never seen this many fish with wounds in the past… If I was to catch one that looks like a couple of those pictures, There’s NO WAY I’m eatin’ that ugly puppy.
- Got an update from the fish pathologist. “these lesions do look like a traumatic insult and then maybe followed by bacterial invasions. The more rash like lesions may be a bit different with respect to potential causes. To really get a better idea, a full necropsy with some histological analyses would be more informative.” He also said that the lesions were noted in the Winter run salmon this season. Gonna bump this up to the next level with some sample collections and necropsies.
- Heard back from Dr. Scott Foott from the U.S. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife… “The best candidate is a trauma site leading to columnaris infection”… Still wonder what is causing the initial trauma and why it is so much more prevalent (or apparent) this year.
- This doesn’t sound good to me. Not trying to be a buzz kill here, just concerned.
- Over 50% of the fish in the Tisdale to Verona section have these wounds. I’ve seen 20-30 fish caught there (live or txt/emailed pics) and most have some kind of wound.
- Two UC Davis fish pathologists are going to look at some salmon that show these wounds and examine them for the presence of pathogens in the wound itself and organ systems. Glad to get them on board to take a look (note they are not just hack grad students). They were pretty interested in what is happening to our salmon this year.
- This thread is a great example of what the forums are all about. We can all put our two cents in to try and figure this problem out. However, we now have enough interest generated on this topic that fishermen are willing to volunteer their salmon to research so the experts can find out what is happening based on the facts. A great team effort by all involved. Hopefully the mystery can be solved and it won’t be too bad of news.
See also: TV: "Mysterious die off of young salmon" in Pacific Northwest -- "Healthy... and then they die" heading out to sea -- "Far less plankton than normal... There are too many questions" -- Researchers now testing for plankton and Fukushima contamination off West Coast (VIDEO)
Published: August 31st, 2014 at 4:18 pm ET