The stomach and intestines of certain Dolly Varden trout double to quadruple in size during month-long, salmon-egg-eating binges in Alaska each August. It’s the first time researchers have documented such fish gut flexibility in the wild.
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Do changes in the amount of fish caught necessarily reflect the number of fish in the sea? “No,” say UW researchers in a “Counterpoint” commentary in Nature.
Salmon runs are notoriously variable: strong one year, and weak the next. New research shows that the same may be true from one century to the next.
Fisheries managers should sharpen their ability to spot environmental conditions that hamper or help fish stocks, and not assume that abundance translates to sustainable harvest.