They took samples of small, baby salmon for two years and carefully examined them for sea lice, as well as evidence of lesions right down to the microscopic level.
As far as we know, no one has studied juvenile pink salmon in this level of detail.
What they found was that
A high prevalence of degenerative liver lesions, renal myxosporean parasites and a low prevalence of skin lesions and sea lice were observed. No indications of viral or bacterial diseases were detected in either year. The monthly prevalence of sea lice in 2007 (18–51%) was higher than in 2008 (1–26%), and the infestation density exceeded the lethal threshold in only two fish.
Interesting. What does it mean?
What was different in 2007? Anything? Nothing?
More research is needed, they conclude.
We agree, and are glad to see there are still researchers interested in collecting new data to understand salmon and sea lice dynamics in B.C.