Changing climate and ocean conditions affect Pacific salmon and the people, businesses, and communities that depend on them. We expect these impacts to increase with continued changes in Earth’s climate.
We conducted two vulnerability assessments to help reduce impacts and increase salmon resilience to climate change:
● Threatened and endangered Pacific salmon and steelhead on the U.S. West Coast
● Other managed fish stocks
We found seven population groups of salmon and steelhead that were highly vulnerable to climate change (shown in red in the figure above), including our rarest life history types. The most significant threats were:
- Ocean acidification
- Rising sea surface temperatures
- Rising stream temperatures and low summer flows
- Flooding or snowmelt loss (depending on the population and life stage)
Life history types with longer residence periods in freshwater or estuaries were the most sensitive to climate, especially if they were already highly stressed from historical anthropogenic factors.
Crozier, L. G., M. M. McClure, T. Beechie, S. J. Bograd, D. A. Boughton, M. Carr, T. D. Cooney, J. B. Dunham, C. M. Greene, M. A. Haltuch, E. L. Hazen, D. M. Holzer, D. D. Huff, R. C. Johnson, C. E. Jordan, I. C. Kaplan, S. T. Lindley, N. J. Mantua, P. B. Moyle, J. M. Myers, M. W. Nelson, B. C. Spence, L. A. Weitkamp, T. H. Williams, and E. Willis-Norton. 2019. Climate vulnerability assessment for Pacific salmon and steelhead in the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. Plos One 14(7):e0217711. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217711.