2018 saw the largest warbler migration ever recorded in North America

Granny Hawkins: So, you’ll be Josey Wales.

Josey Wales: Now, how might you know that, Granny?

Granny Hawkins: Soldiers were here looking for you ’bout two hours ago.

[Josey looks at Carstairs]

Sim Carstairs: Uh, I was goin’ to mention that to you… as soon as I got the chance.

Granny Hawkins: They say you killed your own men.

Jamie: Those lying, blue-scum bellies…

Granny Hawkins: They say you’re a hard put and desperate man, Josey Wales. They’re goin’ to heel and hide you to a barn door. You know what I say?

Josey Wales: What’s that?

Granny Hawkins: I say that big talk’s worth doodly-squat. Now, them poultices be laced with feathermoss and mustard root. Mind you drop water on ’em occasional and keep ’em damp.
[Walks off]

Granny Hawkins: You can pay me when you see me again, Josey Wales.

Josey Wales: I reckon so.

From “The Outlaw Josey Wales“, 1976




April 17, 2018 – California – Record number of steelhead return to spawn during 2017-2018 season at Coleman National Fish Hatchery

Unprecedented. That’s the word to describe the 10,000 steelhead that returned to Coleman National Fish Hatchery during the 2017-2018 season.

While dealing with the large return presented huge challenges for hatchery personnel, anglers will be happy to see the fish released into the Sacramento River after they have been spawned.

(There’s a record number, but they’ll be killed! – ed)

Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are the anadromous, or ocean-going, form of rainbow trout found throughout the Sacramento River system and its tributaries. The fish were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1998.

The production of steelhead at the Coleman hatchery serves two purposes; to contribute to the sport fishery in the Sacramento River; and to provide an adequate return of adult fish back to the hatchery for broodstock. The hatchery fulfills both purposes while simultaneously minimizing impacts to naturally occurring populations.

Located on Battle Creek in Northern California, Coleman is the largest federal hatchery in California and was established in 1942 to mitigate habitat loss as a result of the construction of Shasta Dam. In a typical year, a couple hundred fish come back in October, with the number of returns gradually increasing each month through January.

In the past 10 years, the largest return seen at the hatchery was more than 3,600 steelhead during the 2014-2015 season. The hatchery harvests eggs from these returning fish and raises approximately 600,000 steelhead until they’re six to eight inches in length before releasing them back into the Sacramento River in early January.

The October 2017 return, however, was different from a typical year. Hundreds of fish began coming back each week and some weeks even saw returns of over 1,000 fish.

(They chop up the number…won’t give it to you… – ed)

“I think the main reason for all of the steelhead returning has been the back-to-back wet years of 2016 and 2017 in California,” said Brett Galyean, project leader at Coleman. “In particular, the 2016 steelhead release occurred during a week in January that saw several storms sweep through Northern California.”

The high, muddy water of major storm events provide protection from predators as the released fish move downstream.


May 31, 2018 – Dispatches From Inside a Record-Breaking Bird Migration

What it’s like to find yourself among 721,620 warblers, all in a hurry.

“In our wildest dreams,” Davies says, he and his companions had hoped for maybe a 50,000-bird day. Instead, they found themselves smack in the middle of a group about 10 times that size—one that experts are now calling the biggest North American warbler migration in recorded history. There was nothing to do but hold onto their binoculars and keep counting.

“I think millions flew over Quebec, and all over the whole province,” says Côté, who adds that he has never seen a migration like it. “It’s the biggest one ever [recorded] in North America.” Birds were overtaking lawns and highway medians. Radio stations were flooded with calls from confused residents. (Côté says about 100,000 birds were found dead on Monday, victims of window strikes.)* Weather radar picked up on the flocks as though they were clouds.

Things ended as quickly as they began. At about 3:00 p.m.—nearly 10 hours after they had first arrived—“birds were still going by at about 20 a second,” says Davies. “Just 20 minutes later, it was only one per second. And then there were no birds moving.” They packed up their binoculars and cameras and headed back inside. Later that afternoon, Davies published an official account of the day in the form of an eBird checklist. (Davies is the eBird project coordinator for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.) Their final estimate: 721,620 warblers.

This is certainly a guess: Côté thinks the number was maybe closer to half a million, and Davies estimates an error bar of at least 100,000 on either side.

(The guy talking about 100,000 bird deaths –  a seventh of the whole flock – is the guy downgrading the number – ed)

But at these bird levels, worrying over exact numbers just feels like nitpicking. “Back home in Ithaca, if you saw a Cape May warbler in your yard in the morning, that would be a highlight you’d tell your friends about at lunch,” says Davies. “Like, one. And we saw over 100,000. It feels like a dream.”

(Abiding by the strict protocols of the worldwide news blackout surrounding this subject, there’s absolutely no mention as to what’s driving the phenomenon. Nor is there any mention of the fact that it’s part of a wider trend. That’s a propaganda technique called “compartmentalization.” – ed)


September 8, 2018 – Beyfield, WI – Commercial fishing enjoys record fish numbers

(Pretending it’s doing so to be familiar, the headline hedges by giving no data on where. While “Lake Superior commercial fishing enjoys record fish numbers” is obviously much clearer, and much stronger.  – ed)

Commercial-fishing operations near the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior are reporting record numbers of whitefish and a strong recovery of lake trout since a decline in the early 2000s.

(Not the stronger, more-correct “Commercial fishing operations on Lake Superior”, but rather “near the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior.” Deliberately hedges and implies that it’s localized. – ed)

Craig Hoopman of Lake Superior whitefish told the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board that he’s seeing record numbers of young whitefish and a strong rebounding of lake-trout numbers.

(Why the generality, re: lake trout numbers? As you may recall, generality is a hallmark of propaganda. – ed)

Fishing has been exceptional so far this year, said Hoopman, who chairs the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Lake Superior Commercial Fishing Board.

“We’re averaging between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds of whitefish per day in the traps right now and releasing thousands of sub-legal fish,” Hoopman said. “There’s just multiple-year classes of fish.”

(No mention as to how those numbers compare to average – ed)

Whitefish is the most sought-after species. But Hoopman said he’s also seeing strong numbers of lake trout after a decades-long population decline that began in 1950s.

“There’s around three year classes of lake trout that I’m seeing daily that are extremely large,” he said. “Very nice beautiful-looking fish, healthy — the whitefish, the lake trout, all the species that I’m seeing every day — they are feeding well. They’re just healthy-looking fish.”

(The article makes no mention as to how or why this is happening – ed)

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