The sound of saving salmon

At Whatcom Creek in Bellingham, a unique new device is helping salmon by keeping seals at bay

Harbor seals hover near the entrance to fish ladders at Maritime Heritage Park in Bellingham, where chum salmon bottleneck as they return each fall. Seals and sea lions have learned that salmon make easy meals at choke points such as these.
Chum salmon ready for spawning move within holding ponds at Whatcom Creek in Bellingham on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.
The TAST device is deployed at high tide, and emits sound at irregular intervals to keep pinnipeds guessing.
Andrea Mendez-Bye and Stephanie Reiss of Oceans Initiative lower the TAST device into Whatcom Creek on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020.
Chum salmon swim near the deployed TAST, which deters seals without disturbing fish in the area.

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The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife is dedicated to preserving, protecting and perpetuating the state’s fish and wildlife resources.