Monday, February 1, 2010

Climate And Atlantic Salmon

For a few years I have been watching the data collected on the climate of the North Atlantic Ocean and the relationship to my favorite angling experience. I know I have touched on this before but feel the subject needed further explanation.

As each of my precious Salmon seasons have passed there have been so many reasons talked about for the deterioration of the species. I have heard about ice bergs, dams, pollution, seals, sea lice, netting, Catch & Release, catching too many, logging, fish farming and on and on and on..........

In my opinion, there is no greater threat to many species on earth than Climate Change. Without getting political and looking for a reason why, I would like to examine two scientific calculations that prove difficult to disregard. After all, there has always been Climate Change.

North Atlantic Oscillation(NAO) The charting of this scale is used as a yearly, month to month condition in the surface climate of the North Atlantic Ocean. There are great fluctuations in the current NAO grapf. Please note from this graph that we have experienced a substantial negative condition starting in October of this year. For Atlantic Salmon, cod and other cold water species negative is a good thing. This has accounted for the extreme cold conditions that have been experienced in Europe this winter. Also note that the graph position today is almost neutral. Where the current condition goes will make prediction of what the abundance and size of Atlantic Salmon for the 2010 season an easy task. A negative season in NAO equals greater abundance and size due to food availability. Currently Scotland is experiencing three times the number of rod angled salmon than the ten year historical average on the River Tay. This is the earliest open season for Salmon in the world and started on January 11.

Atlantic Multidecatil Oscillation(AMO) This longer term measurement is used by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration(NOAA) to have a forty year average change in the NAO. This is the true scientific calculation for what has happened to the King of Fish over time. The overall gradient change is warming.

My Conclusions

1. Salmon abundance is a year to year calculation
2. Salmon abundance is a decade to decade calculation
3. The AMO indicates a warming trend over the last forty years
4. Salmon stocks have declined over the last forty years
5. The NAO had a negative average position over the last five years
6. Negative NAO improves the food source for Atlantic Salmon
7. Salmon stocks have improved over the last five years
8. The NAO has been in a negative position from October 2009
9. I'm feeling pretty good about the 2010 season
10. I'm not hopeful about the future

As I write this I can't help but feel that I have lived through the time of our greatest decline. Any sportsmen knows that there is a change in the air. I plan to make a difference today.

Please let me know what you think of this post.


No comments: