California drought helps coho salmon migration

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Updated: 6/24 11:42 am

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) — California's drought has spelled bad news for many of the state's fish. But in a twist, it appears to have been a boon to coho salmon migrating from a Northern California creek.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that nearly 20,000 juvenile coho swam out of the Lagunitas Creek in Marin County into the ocean this spring, the largest salmon migration since scientists started tracking fish outflow from the creek in 2006.

Scientists say the migration bump is explained by the lack of rain this year. Juvenile coho normally gather in the lower reaches of the Lagunitas before heading to sea. But the abundance of coho there means some get bumped out.

This year, the fish were trapped in small tributaries because of the drought. Since they didn't make it to the lower Lagunitas, they weren't driven away.


©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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