Alaska Salmon Numbers Struggling Throughout State

As many king salmon fisheries have been shut down in recent months in Alaska and experts predicting ominous days to come, Alaska’s News Source broke down some of the overall salmon struggles for various species where the state is enduring. Here’s a sample:

Further west, a similar situation is occurring in the Kuskokwim River area, where around 142,000 king salmon were expected — but with current trends, the run is expected to be below even that number.

Sean Larson, an ADF&G Kuskokwim area research biologist, says the numbers there are below average. Larson further said chum salmon are doing much better than in recent years in the Kuskokwim region, but that their numbers are also well below average.

A similar situation is occurring on the Yukon, where for the first time in years, communities on the headwaters are able to subsistence fish for chum salmon. However, the same cannot be said for communities further upriver.

“For the last three years, we haven’t got to fish at all and so it’s very … it hurts. Our culture really depends on king salmon and chum,” Yukon River Intertribal Fish Commission chair Karma Ulvi said.

In July alone, the state announced that king salmon fishing would close on the Little Susitna River Drainage, likewise on Kodiak’s Chignik River, plus decreased limits for Chinook in Bristol Bay’s Nushagak-Mulchatna Drainage.