Scientists Find ‘Extinct’ Salmon Swimming in Lake

December 16, 2010

(ChattahBox Science News)—In 1940, the Japanese government declared that its freshwater salmon species “black kokanee” was extinct—but that declaration may have been turned on its head when Japanese scientists recently found nine of the fish happily swimming around a Lake Saiko, the UK Telegraph reports.

Japan’s claim that the species was extinct followed the arrival of acidic water into the salmon’s swimming grounds due to a hydroelectric project. But records showed that 100,000 of the fish’s eggs had been moved to other freshwater spots before the fish died off, leading the Kyoto University researchers to wonder whether any of those eggs had, in fact, produced more of the salmon, the Telgraph notes.

Investigators are working to determine whether the newly-discovered salmon are a direct match for the species previously thought to be extinct. If confirmed, the discovery would be the first time that an extinct Japanese fish species has been found alive, the Telegraph reports.


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