Solving A Salmon Deficiency Mystery

An intriguing recent report by the Los Angeles Times focused on his scientists uncovered the reasoning behind a baffling deficiency that was killing hatchery salmon fry in Northern California.

Here’s more from the Times:

Certain runs of chinook salmon in California are imperiled; the hatcheries and the fry raised there are the federal government’s last-ditch effort to sustain these ecologically and economically vital fish populations.

So, when scientists observed the young salmon’s screwball behavior, they reached out to their networks in oceanography, ecology and fisheries: Had anyone seen anything similar? Did anybody know what was going on?

As it happened, scientists and hatchery managers around the Great Lakes had observed similar abnormalities in lake trout, beginning in the 1960s. Although it took a few decades, scientists eventually unlocked part of the mystery: The fish had a deficiency of thiamine, or vitamin B1.

The whole report is a fascinating read.