Along California's North Coast, so much marijuana is grown that the region has become known as the "emerald triangle." As states hash out laws regarding humans' use of pot, though, some point out that it's not just a human concern: Fish and wildlife proponents say salmon are feeling the negative effects of the marijuana industry.
It takes a huge amount of water to run pot farms, and many marijuana growers draw that water from rivers. And NPR reports that pesticides and fertilizers are also being found in those rivers where Chinook and other salmon swim.
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According to Scott Bauer, a fisheries biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, 24 tributaries of the Eel River went dry last summer. It's unlikely that Chinook and Coho salmon will return in large numbers in coming years, he told NPR. Some fear they won't return to certain rivers at all.
"I have nothing against people growing dope," Dave Bitts, a Humboldt County commercial fisherman and the president of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations, told NPR.