We couldn’t let this one slide.
We found it on the public “Salmon are Sacred” Facebook page. This claim is integral to Ms. Alexandra Morton’s pet theory that the only salmon doing well in returns and on the spawning grounds are the ones which don’t migrate past salmon farms.
This is bunk.
There are numerous salmon farms in Puget Sound, which Washington fish pass on the return to their spawning grounds. One of them, the Bainbridge Island farm, is the farm which suffered an IHN outbreak in May. And there are three salmon farms in the Alberni Inlet. We checked, and they were in operation in 2010, when the sockeye run was 1.1 million fish in the Inlet, far higher than expected. The wild fish in these areas are doing fantastic; the salmon farms do not have any impact on the wild runs.
Here’s a picture. Click to view the full image, it’s a big one.
If you want to look for yourself in Google Earth, here’s a placemarks file you can use to find these farms.
It is completely wrong for Ms. Morton to say that fish migrating up Alberni Inlet, along the south end of Vancouver Island, and into Washington State rivers, do not pass salmon farms. There is absolutely no truth to this claim.