In drought-stricken California, young Chinook salmon are hitting the road, not the river, to get to the Pacific Ocean.
Millions of six-month-old smolts are hitching rides in tanker trucks because California’s historic drought has depleted rivers and streams, making the annual migration to the ocean too dangerous for juvenile salmon. “The drought conditions have caused lower flows in the rivers, warmer water temperatures, and the fish that would normally be swimming down the rivers would be very susceptible to predation and thermal stress”, said Kari Burr, fishery biologist with the Fishery Foundation of California.
California has been trucking hatchery-raised salmon for years to bypass river dams and giant pumps that funnel water to Southern California and Central Valley farms. But this year state and federal wildlife agencies are trucking nearly 27 million smolts, about 50 percent more than normal, because of the drought, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. (1)
Humans playing gods with… trucks.
These salmons will never find their way home.
I am not talking about their actual home, about a location in a river.
I am talking about their real home, their place in nature.
We have lost our way as humans.
And now we try to make everyone else lose its way as well…