GeekWire: Chinook are shrinking, and Alaska’s killer whales could be culprits

Researchers say fishing plays a role in shrinking salmon populations, but the preferences of marine mammals may also play a part.

King salmon, the big fish that are famous in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, are shrinking — not only in numbers, but in size as well.

A study published today in the journal Fish and Fisheries has found that the largest and oldest Chinook salmon (also known as king salmon or Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) have mostly disappeared along the West Coast.

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“Chinook are known for being the largest Pacific salmon, and they are highly valued because they are so large,” lead author Jan Ohlberger, a research scientist in the UW’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, said in a news release. “The largest fish are disappearing, and that affects subsistence and recreational fisheries that target these individuals.”

Read the full article on GeekWire.