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BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) - Scientists believe that unusually warm water off the Washington coast is sending the vast majority of sockeye salmon to Canadian waters, leaving Puget Sound fishermen with nearly empty nets.

According to data from the Pacific Salmon Commission, nearly 2.9 million sockeye salmon have been caught in Canadian waters, while only about 98,000 have been netted in Washington through Aug. 19.

The Bellingham Herald reports that during a typical year, the salmon run is usually split around 50 percent between Canadian and Washington waters.

Several factors could be behind why sockeye salmon diversion, but researchers are looking closely at an area of ocean water off the coast that is about 3 degrees Celsius warmer than normal.

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