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23 N. Coast Hwy



The latest goings-on at the MidCoast Watersheds Council

Monthly Meeting June 2016

MidCoast Watersheds Council

Effects of changing ocean conditions on survival of Oregon's coho and Chinook salmon

Thursday June 2nd @ 6:30pm

Central Lincoln Peoples Utility District

2129 N Coast Hwy, Newport, OR 97365

 Bill Peterson, NOAA

Bill Peterson, NOAA

The public is invited to a talk by researcher Bill Peterson at the MidCoast Watersheds Council meeting on Thursday June 2nd, 2016 at 6:30 pm in Newport, to learn about salmon and ocean conditions. The meeting will be held in the public meeting room at the Central Lincoln PUD building, located at 2129 N Coast Hwy in Newport, across from the Safeway complex.  Refreshments will be served.

The Watershed Council is incredibly fortunate to have a speaker this month that has been studying our oceans for over two decades – he brings a wealth of knowledge on oceanic processes into our community on June 2nd.”   

Paul Engelmeyer, Chair of the MCWC

Dr. William (Bill) Peterson is an oceanographer and Senior Scientist with NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center. Bill leads the “Climate Change and Ocean Productivity” program. He serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Plankton Research and has served as an Editor for Marine Ecology-Progress Series.    He was recently honored by NOAA with a Distinguished Career Award. 

Dr. Peterson’s team has been tracking physical and biological oceanographic conditions off Newport Oregon during oceanographic research cruises.  These cruises have been conducted on a biweekly basis for 21 years.  Information on zooplankton and krill, nutrients, chlorophyll, as well as depth and substrate information are measured.  Having such a long term, continuous data set has allowed the team’s data to now be used to successfully forecast the returns of salmon to the Columbia River and coastal rivers of Oregon and Washington.


The species, size and food density of copepods, the tiny crustaceans that are the chief link in the food chain between the microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and fish, can vary greatly during cold versus warm water (e.g. El Niño or “The Blob”) periods in the ocean.  Warm conditions reduce the productivity of the food chain, and negatively affect the survival and growth of many species of fish, seabirds and mammals. Dr. Peterson will discuss the nature of ocean conditions during cold vs warm periods and how this affects the prey that salmon feed on.  He’ll then show how these data are used to provide forecasts on the number of salmon returning to the Columbia River and to coastal rivers of Oregon.  Dr. Peterson will also discuss with the group how climate variability is affecting our salmon now, and how things might change in the near future.

Please join us Thursday, June 2nd at 6:30 PM at the Central Lincoln PUD.