Due to the heat wave, endangered salmon species in the California River are expected to become extinct.
State officials warned this week that the young fish in the Sacramento River’s endangered chinook salmon species are at risk of dying out due to the heat waves that are predicted to persist this summer in California.
The Sacramento Bee reported earlier this month on a warning from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), which stated that “nearly all” of the juvenile chinook salmon in the heated river could perish. The threat, according to a statement released by the CDFW on Wednesday, is to blame for the “heat dome” that California and other Western states have been experiencing in recent weeks.
“It is probable that all in-river juveniles will not survive this season,” according to the CDFW.
CDFW deputy director of communications Jordan Traverso told CNN, “It’s an extraordinary set of cascading climatic events forcing us into this crisis situation.”
Traverso has been contacted for further comment, and we will update this story if he responds.
According to the CDFW, adult winter-run chinook salmon make an annual journey from the San Francisco Bay to the Sacramento River. The species was first designated as vulnerable under the Endangered Species Act in 1989, following a “dramatic” decline in the 1970s and 1980s, according to the CDFW. In 1994, the species was reclassified as endangered.
Wildlife officials are concerned about more than just juvenile chinook salmon. The CDFW said earlier this week that it had transported over 1 million fall-run salmon due to warmer water conditions.
In a Tuesday news release, Mark Clifford, a hatchery environmental scientist for the CDFW’s Northern Region, noted that California’s drought circumstances make supporting juvenile fish “very tough.” In the release, Clifford stated, “The reality is that most of these fish would have died if we had released them into the river.”
When conditions were better suited for the fish to live, the CDFW said it planned to release the relocated salmon into the Klamath River, where that species of fish generally resides.
This summer, California is one of several Western states afflicted by drought and heat waves. The state issued its fifth appeal for residents to save energy this year on Monday, as temperatures in numerous areas above 100 degrees.
Governor of California. This is a condensed version of the information.