Family - Salmonidae
Estuaries and Nearshore Waters Provide...
Salmon & Shorelines: Habitat LossAlthough salmon spend only a part of their life cycle in nearshore areas, these habitats are critical to the survival of salmon populations. Shoreline habitats of Puget Sound have suffered significant losses over the last 125 years.
When marshes are lost, young salmon lose food and shelter. Studies show a 73 percent decline in salt marsh habitats bordering Puget Sound. Nearly all salt marsh habitats within major urban areas along Puget Sound have been destroyed. The Puyallup River Delta, for example, lost 100 percent of its nearshore habitat.
Recent studies show that juvenile salmon may suffer adverse effects from passing through polluted estuaries and nearshore areas. Human-caused stresses (toxic chemicals, pathogens and parasites) can cause immune dysfunction, increased susceptibility to disease, and impaired growth.
Bulkheads, seawalls, and other hard shoreline armoring structures can disrupt shore drift, starving beaches of sediments, and juvenile salmon of food and shelter. Bulkhead construction can also destroy shoreline vegetation, eliminating cover and food sources for young salmon.
Loss of vegetation along the shore is of particular importance to juvenile salmon. Shoreline vegetation stabilizes the shoreline, provides shade, protective cover, organic input, and food (insects) to young salmon moving in close to shore.
Docks can block light to underwater habitats such as eelgrass meadows, a source of food and shelter for juvenile salmon and other marine life.
Related TopicsSalmon Species, Estuary use varies.
Salmon & The Nearshore, Plants provide food and shelter.
Salmon Life Cycle, The life cycle varies.
Bulkheads, Bulkheads can damage salmon habitat.
Puget Sound Nearshore Environments: Salmon Use, Large River Mouth, King County Department of Natural Resources. A color illustration showing zones used by juvenile salmon.
Wild Salmon: Our Precious Natural Resource, Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. Salmon/Steelhead species information.
WildWatchcams: Salmon, Washington State Department of Fish & Wildlife. Salmoncam.
Salmon Friendly Seattle, City of Seattle, Washington. Seattle efforts to save salmon, salmon-friendly practices, and much more.
Contaminant Exposure in Juvenile Salmon, NMFS Publications. Puget Sound estuaries, pollution, and juvenile salmon health.
Comments? E-mail: Shellyne Grisham