An Oregon salmon hatchery reported their entire coho egg production was wiped out earlier this month from creek contamination.
The program’s manager, Jack Armer, told the Associated Press that the coho eggs’ death was caused by pollution in the nearby Munse Creek. The hatchery uses the creek for its operations. Dead fish and frogs were also found in the creek. Oregon wildlife officials are not investigating the case.
The 10,000 coho eggs represented a year’s worth of production and an entire generation of salmon. Hatcheries have been used along the West Coast for more than a century to repopulate salmon populations decimated by logging, agriculture and over fishing.
On the upside, biologists are forecasting a record salmon run this fall in the state’s Columbia River Basin. They estimate nearly 1 million coho will make their migratory spawning journeys from the Pacific ocean back to their breeding grounds.