A video had surfaced where an injured salmon was recorded swimming in the Columbia River. The group of conservationists observed this after the temperature of the Pacific north-west water rose above 70F.The water of the Columbia River had risen in temperature, which caused the salmon to react. White fungi and red lesions were found on the injured salmon. The conservationists were disturbed at this sight.
The injured salmon could be seen in a video, released by the Columbia Riverkeeper. The salmon belonged to the sockeye variety and was covered in lesions due to overheating and high stress.
Brett VandenHeuvel stated that the injured salmon was swimming upstream from the ocean. It had changed its course into the Little White Salmon River to escape from the high temperatures of the water. Brett is the director of the non-profit organization, Columbia Riverkeeper. He compared this situation with a human trying to keep his pace in a marathon at 100F temperatures.
The constant heatwave had overheated the water to temperatures around 70F. This is harmful to the fish if they are exposed for prolonged periods. The prohibition limit is 68F, as stated by the Clean Water Act.
The Future For The Injured Salmon
The injured salmon will not be able to reach their destination and will die from heat stress. They might also be crippled due to impending diseases.
The heatwave has contributed to the death of a massive number of marine life, killed several people, and is also the reason behind several wildfires.
Brett stated that the main reason behind this incident was the construction of the dams, that hold water across Washington. This had increased the temperature of the water. The heatwave had escalated this issue higher. He had traveled to this area and had seen several salmon carcasses floating downstream. It was heartbreaking for him to see such.
Don Sampson was moved to tears when he saw the injured salmon. He is a member of the Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation and also holds a seat in the Northwest Tribal Salmon Alliance. He predicts that this situation will be worse in the coming years. He is disappointed that the solutions are not being implemented as they do not have any political powers to do so. Sampson sees this as a sad vision for future generations and feels that the sight of this injured salmon should call for a plan of action.