Tag Archives: Yukon River

Warm waters thought to be culprit with salmon deaths

Dead chum salmon found on the Koyukuk River; Photo credit: ADF&G

Salmon carcasses have been found in large numbers from Norton Sound, all the way up the Yukon River drainage.

Reports of children being able to catch chums with their hands in the Yukon are also coming in. The salmon appear to be completely disorientated.

On one bank of the Koyukuk, over 100 dead chum salmon were counted.

Fish & Game officials, as well as residents along the rivers report that when cut open, the salmon still have eggs or sperm inside. That means that they have not spawned yet.

Dead pink salmon along the Shaktoolik River; Photo credit: Sophia Katchatag, Community coordinator for Shaktoolik

The best guess right now is that the high water temperatures have stressed the salmon out before they can reach their spawning grounds. The waters of Norton Sound, the Koyukuk River and the Shaktoolik River are all well above average. The water temperatures for the Yukon River have been at the highest level ever recorded this summer.