Dwindling fish runs topic of Port Townsend lecture

PORT TOWNSEND — Salmon smolt and juvenile steelhead survival will be the subject of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center’s lecture Sunday afternoon.

“Sharing the Sound — Salmon, Steelhead and Settlement” will take place from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Fort Worden Chapel, 200 Battery Way. It costs $5 for general admission; students and teachers enter free.

Jill B. Rolland, director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle, will speak about the trend of dwindling runs of salmon and steelhead in the Puget Sound.

For decades, scientists and concerned citizens have called for improving salmon-spawning and -rearing habitats in an attempt to reverse that trend. However, these improvements have not been sufficient to produce the recovery that might have been expected, according to a press release.

Increasingly, scientists are learning that other anthropogenic changes to the Puget Sound ecosystem, ranging from sky glow to ubiquitous pathogens, are likely having a greater impact on salmon and steelhead recovery than previously realized.

Prior to joining the USGS, Rolland worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture animal and plant health inspection service for 10 years. While at the USDA, she initially served as the aquatic animal health program manager and later as the director of aquaculture, swine, equine and poultry health programs.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in fisheries from the University of Washington and master’s and doctoral degrees in fish health from the University of Bergen in Norway.

Her research focuses on transmission, hosts and reservoirs for the infectious salmon anemia (ISA) virus.

This is the second installment of “The Future of Oceans” lecture series.

For more information, contact the Port Townsend Marine Science Center at info@ptmsc.org or 360-385-5582.