If you're a salmon fan, this recipe from former Food columnist Russ Parsons is one of the easiest dishes you can make: Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the salmon on a baking sheet and slide it in the oven over a pan of boiling water. The salmon will be ready in about 20 minutes, when the fish begins to flake. While the salmon is cooking, whisk together a quick dill mayonnaise (mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, fresh chopped dill and shallots and a little lemon juice), and you're good to go. The salmon serves six to eight, perfect whether you're serving a large family or are looking for leftovers for the next couple days (the salmon is just as good chilled and tossed in with a salad).
For decades, something in urban streams has been killing coho salmon in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Even after Seattle began to restore salmon habitat in the 1990s, up to 90% of the adults migrating up certain streams to spawn would suddenly die after rainstorms. Researchers suspected the killer was washing off nearby roads, but couldn't identify it. “This was a serious mystery,” says Edward Kolodziej, an environmental engineer at the University of Washington's (UW's) Tacoma and Seattle campuses. Online this week in Science , researchers led by Kolodziej report the primary culprit comes from a chemical widely used to protect tires from ozone, a reactive atmospheric gas. The toxicant, called 6PPD-quinone, leaches out of the particles that tires shed onto pavement. Even small doses killed coho salmon in the lab. “It's a brilliant piece of work,” says Miriam Diamond, an environmental chemist at the University of Toronto. “They've done a tremendous job at sleuthing out a very challenging problem.” Manufacturers annually produce some 3.1 billion tires worldwide. Tire rubber is a complex mixture of chemicals, and companies closely guard their formulations. Because tire particles are a common component of water pollution, researchers have been examining how they affect aquatic life. After Kolodziej arrived at UW's Center for Urban Waters in 2014, he joined the effort to solve the coho salmon mystery. The group created a mixture of particles from nine tires—some bought new, others provided by two undergraduates who moonlight as mechanics—to mimic what might wash off typical highways. They found several thousand unidentified chemicals in the mixture. Postdoc Zhenyu Tian spent more than 2 years narrowing down the list, separating the molecules based on their electrical charge and other properties. By May 2019, he had narrowed the focus to about 50 unknown chemicals, and then further work revealed the chemical formula of a prime suspect. “If you're looking for an unexplained toxicant that's killing fish, we had the perfect instruments and expertise,” Kolodziej recalls. But what was it? A 2019 report from the Environmental Protection Agency on chemicals in recycled tires mentioned 6PPD, which has a similar formula. The final clue was buried in an industry report from 1983, which contained the exact formula of 6PPD-quinone, the molecule created when 6PPD reacts with ozone. The team synthesized 6PPD-quinone and found it was highly lethal to coho salmon. Now, the team is working to understand how the chemical kills fish. Kolodziej and colleagues say other species of fish should also be evaluated for sensitivity. Because you can't buy the molecule, Kolodziej's team is making it. “My lab might even be the only place that actually has this,” he says. The researchers suspect the compound is present on busy roads everywhere. They've found it washes off pavement and into streams in Los Angeles and San Francisco, for example. The simplest solution might be for tire manufacturers to switch to an environmentally benign alternative. But Sarah Amick, vice president of environment, health, safety, and sustainability at the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association, says it's too early to discuss alternatives. “It's important that additional research be done to validate and verify these results.” Another way to protect salmon is to filter stormwater through soil, but installing enough infiltration basins to treat road runoff before it reaches spawning streams would be very expensive, says co-author Jenifer McIntyre, an ecotoxicologist at Washington State University's Puyallup Research and Extension Center. In the meantime, Kolodziej says he “can't walk along a street without staring at all the skid marks,” thinking about tire chemicals, and “wondering what's there.”
Giant, spike-toothed salmon that weighed almost 400 lbs. The now-extinct salmon species spawned in California rivers approximately 11 million to 5 million years ago, the scientists said. The fish measured up to 9 feet long, with spike-like teeth that were more than 1 inch long. Though its dagger-like teeth could have been deadly for prey, the ancient salmon was probably a filter feeder rather than a predatory species, meaning the fish took in water full of plankton as it swam, as modern Pacific salmon do, they added. The salmon's unusual spiky teeth were likely used to fight, helping them to defend their fertilized eggs, according to researchers from California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock, California.
Live chinook salmon aboard the King County Research Vessel SoundGardian are released into waters off San Juan Island, Wash, as a young female orca called J50 was not in the area on Friday Aug. 10, 2018. Experts have done a practice run to work out feeding live fish to the whale off Washington state so they're ready when they get a chance to save the ailing orca. The young female killer whale was too far north in Canadian waters for teams in boats carrying salmon to try to feed the emaciated animal Friday.
The brown bear living near the estuary, and wading out when the tide swells and the salmon run, during the days of the dwindling salmon runs, and slapping with his big right paw a hook-nosed fish whipsawing inland to spawn, the ambidextrous bear, furred like the forest from which he emerged, waddling into the unteachable waters to swat the salmon out the fast-running tide and catch the red salmon in his mouth and toss and juggle the sockeye salmon thrashing and drowning in the air-- and when he's expressed himself completely he catches with his jaw the self that swam ten thousand miles to the estuary and daintily, mincingly, with one paw grasping the caudal fin and the other the head, eats that salmon as if he were we and the fish an ear of boiled corn-- that bear is a bear about whom rich and complicated feelings can be felt. That is a bear from whom ideas about the state of nature can be derived. Cruelty is the wrong word to describe the pleasure he gets from playing with his lunch. Play and life are the same thing to him, art and life, life and death. Stay down on the pavement where you just fell in a heap like a bag of laundry, just stay there.