Washington State University Researches Effects of Polluted Runoff on Salmon

In *All by Ag is America

Washington State University scientists are studying the effects stormwater runoff has on different fish species to help protect fish populations. Their research found that only some species of salmon are harmed by polluted stormwater runoff while others are seemingly unaffected. Scientists are working to understand the reasons for resistance in only some species in order to help save others.

Stormwater that runs off from highways and roads often carries pollutants which flow into rivers and streams, which are home salmon and other fish. This stormwater is toxic to fish since it can carry pollutants such as carcinogenic hydrocarbons and metals. Scientists evaluated the different species reactions to being in polluted stormwater samples. The scientists have discovered that polluted stormwater runoff is harmful for coho salmon while chum salmon are seemingly unaffected in their exposure to the same polluted stormwater

By better understanding why polluted stormwater only effects some species of fish, scientists will be able to better identify the specific pollutants that are causing harm and how some species are resistant to the ill-effects. Through this research, scientists hope to find ways to protect these delicate species of fish from the harmful effects of human pollution.  

To learn more about this research from Washington State University, read more here.

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