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Wild Puget Sound Steelhead: Less Than 3% of Historical Abundance

Results show that current Puget Sound Steelhead abundance is likely only 1%–4% of what it was prior to the turn of the 20th century and that loss of habitat alone does not explain these dramatic reductions.

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A recent study by WFC scientists Nick Gayeski and Bill McMillan, along with consulting fishery biologist Pat Trotter, looks at the historical abundance of Puget Sound winter steelhead from 1895, the year in which the peak commercial catch of steelhead occurred, and compares these data to more recent numbers. Their results show that current abundance is likely only 1%–4% of what it was prior to the turn of the 20th century and that loss of habitat alone does not explain these dramatic reductions.

Read the paper published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences (Volume 68, Number 2, February 2011) - Historical abundance of Puget Sound steelhead, Oncorhynchus mykiss, estimated from catch record data - N. Gayeski, B. McMillan, and P. Trotter

A 2007 study by NOAA Fisheries Service reported similar estimates of historical steelhead abundance in Puget Sound. Status Review of Puget Sound Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) June 2007.

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