A Hidden Threat
Pacific salmon are in serious trouble. The enormous runs of migratory salmon of the past have slowly dwindled to the trickle that presently inhabit many western rivers. Although salmon recovery efforts are under way, scientists, policy makers and interest groups have thus far given insufficient attention to the role that widespread pesticide contamination in our waterways may play in salmon declines.
A new report, Diminishing Returns: Salmon Decline and Pesticides, released February, 1999, by the Oregon Pesticide Education Network (OPEN), reviews the scientific literature on the effects of sublethal concentrations of pesticides on salmonids, and places special emphasis on how pesticides can alter the basic biology of fishes in subtle ways that decrease their chances for reproduction and survival.