Dear Editor: Thanks for the articles on the salmon season. I heard it was good fishing up north of Coos Bay, as well as central California. For some reason, the forage fish (salmon food) were at very low abundance from Coos Bay to Point Arena this year.
I study seabirds, and they had a terrible year in this region. Not so bad that the adults were dying, but not enough food to raise any young, especially for common murres, the most-abundant seabird on our coast.
You may have also noticed that pelicans have been very scarce through the summer (except for the bunch feeding on anchovy off South Beach this past weekend). Like the salmon and other mobile predators, they stayed away from this area.
Gray whales, too, are very few.
Why so few forage fish? That’s what I would like to know. Seabirds, like salmon and fishermen, have bad seasons at times, but this is the second disastrous one in three years.
The first was attributed to “the blob” of warm water that affected our coast from 2015 to 2017. Now, there is another blob - only bigger - filling the entire north Pacific with a warm-water anomaly.
Water at our beaches is all above 60 degrees. Great for swimming, not so much for marine life. Welcome to global warming.