California’s chinook may explain why Southern Resident Killer Whales haven’t shown up in BC yet Chinook are the largest of salmon species, which is why they are favoured by sport fishermen, and orcas. | Shutterstock Photo Last week, when southern resident killer whales failed to show up in B.C. coastal waters by the end of June, as they usually do, it caused some hand-wringing among whale watchers and Washington conservationists. But if the orcas are late showing up for dinner in B.C., it may be because they were still at the buffet in California, which is reported to be experiencing one of the best chinook returns in about a decade. “I think the California return was a game-changer this year,” said Andrew Trites, director of the Marine Mammal Research Unit at the University of British Columbia. “That is huge news. That is so important because this is a key part of their habitat.” According to a June 28 Wall Street Journal story, California is “overflowing” with salmon, and the San Francisco Chronicle cites commercial fishermen who say this year’s catch is the largest in a decade. Sport fishermen in B.C. are also reporting, anecdotally, that chinook in B.C. waters […]

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