Wildlife

Hybrid Salmon

Canadian officials say a new hybrid species of coho and Chinook salmon has been found between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland, possibly the result of climate change.

Andres Araujo at Fisheries and Oceans Canada says the hybrids look like a mix of the two species, and genetic markers confirm that they are indeed hybrids. He and colleagues point out that dry conditions in recent years have lowered the water level of the Cowichan River spawning area, which delayed the Chinook’s late-summer spawning. This probably brought those fish into contact with the coho and allowed them to interbreed later in autumn.

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