Mary Callahan, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
They’re less slimy, and certainly less smelly, than a fish carcass would be. But the dry, brown pellets that biologists distributed Tuesday in a backwater channel of Dry Creek may prove to be the vitamin that once-prolific North Coast salmon streams need.
The goal is to simulate the nutritional boost that used to come from the decaying remains of adult fish, a critical natural supplement for coho and Chinook salmon, steelhead trout and other wildlife.
The approach has shown promise in the Columbia River watershed over the past few years. It produced benefits last year in several tributaries of Sonoma County’s Austin Creek.
“This could be a piece in the missing puzzle of recovery,” said Bob Coey, a biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service.