Pink salmon mature in two years. Salmon can add a pound a month if they are well fed in the ocean. 2013 had the largest pink salmon run in 50 years
Projections from throughout the ocean and fisheries science venues are advising that this years Fraser River Sockeye Salmon runs will be the all time historic high, twice the previous record of 1900.
As many as 72 million of the bright red fish are expected where the largest runs in all of history have never exceeded 45 million. Even if the run is in the mid-range of the estimates at 25 million fish the run will be in the top 6 in all of recorded history.
That high bar on the far right side of the chart is the 2010 run which have been named the volcano miracle salmon. In mid August 2008 the Kasatochi volcano in Alaska erupted and spewed mineral rich ash onto a part of the NE Pacific ocean salmon pasture. The vibrant ocean bloomed just in time to feed the Fraser River Sockeye which instead of mostly starving were treated to a feast. Those very same Sockeye came back to the Faser river 30-40 million strong. The babies from that gigantic run that went to sea in 2012 were never-the-less not much greater in numbers than a typical year. We made sure those baby sockeye swam into their ocean pasture that was replenished, restored, and could feed them all.
The Fraser River sockeye projection is in line with other stunning returns of salmon that coincide with the work to restore their ocean pasture which was successfully accomplished in the summer of 2012. Last falls record runs and catch of Pink Salmon from Alaska south where instead of the expected 50 million fish being caught in SE Alaska 226 million Pinks were caught clearly perfectly fits with the restoration of plankton abundance in the offshore salmon pastures we carried out in 2012.
In a typical year 450 million baby Sockeye swim out of the Fraser River and only 1% of less return. Their pasture simply cannot sustain but a few.
The timing and placement of our 2012 ocean pasture restoration bloom was performed to greatly benefit all ocean life but especially the Fraser Sockeye and North Coast Pink Salmon. We know the Fraser Sockeye swim west into the NE Pacific passing the North end of Vancouver Island around the July 1. By late July and August they are in their offshore pasture, our restored pasture, where they remain for 2 years. Similarly the North Coast and Alaska Pink Salmon are known to enter inhabit this same ocean pasture. When the pasture thrives so do the fish.
As large as the Fraser Sockeye run is expected to be it is dwarfed by the Northern Pink Salmon fed by our ocean salmon pasture restoration in the Gulf of Alaska in the summer of 2012. 226.3 million Pinks were caught last fall by fishermen ins SE Alaska, the largest catch of salmon in all of Alaska’s history. State fisheries experts were predicting a large catch of 50 million fish and were stunned by the 226 million fish caught.
This bounty of fish has become a blessing for hungry American children as USDA Food Aid programs have now purchased 60 million servings of the healthy wild Alaska salmon that fed and survived on their restored pasture.
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