We`ll just get this topic, done, and out of the way first thing…Predation is a major player in our salmon stocks. Right off the bat, the majority of people say, “it`s the seals”! Yes, very true. However, predation is again, many different things. Pinnipeds, certainly. The population of seals and sea lions is far above and beyond the historical level. They are intelligent, and stealthy. They also train their young to do and be the same. Absolutely needs to be addressed.
Along with that issue, there is also a huge problem with predation on our juvenile fish. From invasive species, such as bass, pike, squawfish, shad, musky, and various others, both in fresh water, and in salt water. Compress that with many area`s being corked down, to where they, in many cases, have an all you can eat buffet. There are many “meat eating” bird populations that are also far high in numbers and can be devastating, and in most area`s are! These birds come in all shapes and sizes, and range from the spawning beds themselves, to the wide open sea.
With that being said, man has created many different problems when it comes down to a balance. Grab one thing, and another suffers. Grab another thing, and another will thrive. Balance is key. Even numbers across the spectrum. It is an obvious issue.
Here is a list of predators we can think of, from the time a salmon egg gets placed in gravel. Small fishes, birds of all kinds, invasive species, including fish, birds, crab, and various flora…Seals, sea lions, whales, sharks, and many more oceanic specie. And, Humans!!!