Loss of huge chinook no mystery
Recently I caught a clip on CBC morning radio. It was regarding a photo dating back to the 1930s of two 100-pound chinook salmon. “A fish as big as a man!”
The main gist of the interview seemed to be why there are no longer any of these giants around. When I realized that was not a joke, I was amazed and aghast at the ignorance and hubris that still exists around us. There seemed to be a theory about some type of “mystery change” that has come about in the North Pacific Ocean range of these fish.
Let’s see, since the 1930s, how many changes can we count? I’ll bet we could count one major change that has affected the lives of chinook salmon for each year of our 150 year old country. The frontier mentality of “catch all the fish, cut all the trees, ship all the resources!” has got to end. Our resident orca population eat only chinook salmon. They will swim through other schools of salmon in order to get chinook. I am reminded of the similarly coloured and diet-limited panda bear, who eat only certain types of bamboo. Adaptation is one way to avoid extinction, another way is to be adopted and cared for as a national symbol such as China has done for the panda.
A 100 pound chinook salmon — now there’s a whale-sized dinner!