Biological Impacts Item 1

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Species Migrations

Item 1  09-MAR-1998 18:34 Susan E Yoder (syoder)

During the fall and winter I received reports of marine species occurring far north of their normal ranges.  For example, unusually large numbers of brown pelicans congregated off Vancouver, British Columbia, during this period, presumably following fish migrations.  Salmon schools also appeared to have shifted northward in their ranges.  As you join this conference, do you have similar reports on such phenomena or questions about the reasons for these changes in migration patterns?

1:1) 13-MAR-1998 12:35 Cathleen Cannon (ccannon)

Last fall I was at Drakes Beach, Pt. Reyes Nat'l. Seashore, Ca. and we found a strange looking shrimp-like critter in the waves washing ashore...I've spent considerable time at the coast and had never seen this type before...the rangers suggested perhaps it had come up this far north because of El Nino.  What do you think??

1:2) 14-MAR-1998 09:01 Kristina (Tina) Bishop (tina)

I have heard from a friend in Seattle that there are unusual birds being seen there this winter, though I don't know what species.

1:3) 17-MAR-1998 19:37 Lynn Whitley (lwhitley)

Is there any information on uncommon species coming into the Southern California due to El Nino?

1:4) 17-MAR-1998 20:33 Lynn Whitley (lwhitley)

Hi, this is Sue Yoder.  I am checking in from a conference without my usual resources.  These are good questions and I will get back to you next week hopefully with some answers when I return to my office.

1:5) 18-MAR-1998 01:23 Phyllis Grifman (pgrifman)

There is one critter that I've heard of associated with El Nino on Pacific beaches...the pelagic red crab...maybe that's what you saw up in Pt. Reyes, Cathleen.  We hear a lot about die-offs of some kinds of organisms, including kelp and associated species, but I think there are a lot of others that come this far north because they may be looking for their food supplies which have migrated farther north.

1:6) 31-MAR-1998 20:38 Dr. C. Mark Eakin (meakin)

You should check out the reference that I mentioned in the biological breakout group:  

There you will find infromation on a number of unusual sightings along the US west coast starting late last summer.  The number of tropical fish caught in that area has been tremendous and has been a positive for California -- El Nino related warming has been great for the California sport fishing industry for over 6 months.

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