It was a king-of-the-salmon (Trachipterus altivelis), a deep-sea-dwelling species of ribbonfish. Its common name comes from the legends of the Makah people west of Strait of Juan de Fuca, which believe this “king” leads the salmon to their spawning grounds each year.
A lack of chum salmon is causing pain in riverside communities of Yukon and Alaska, as mushers are left without a traditional source of food.
So far, the department has counted just under 37,000 fish at the Chilkat weir, well below the 10-year average of 80,000 fish. Zeiser said at this point in the season, it’s doubtful the run will hit the escapement range of 70,000 to 150,000 fish.
About 189,000 fall chum had entered the Yukon River as of Sept. 7. At least 300,000 fish must enter the river before either Alaska or Yukon fishers can begin harvesting.
After learning about catches of pink salmon near Salluit, Quebec wildlife officials are urging any fishers who net the newcomers to report their catch. Two pink salmon were netted in Nunavik during the summer of 2019 in the Ungava Bay region, one near Kangirsuk.
The findings bolster reports by Alaska subsistence fishermen that the species’ numbers have been increasing as the Arctic warms at more than double the rate of the rest of the globe.
Dead or dying eggs in a female coho salmon are a possible symptom of environmental stress felt by the fish. In Western Alaska, water levels have been low following a rapid spring snowmelt and low precipitation.
Slimy sculpins (Cottus cognatus) are small, nocturnal, bottom-dwelling fish that lack a swim bladder to help them stay bouyant in the water. Their size and habitat allow them to easily avoid fishing gear designed for salmon.
Early snowmelt and low precipitation have led to low river water levels on the southern Seward Peninsula. Low water levels may be a contributing factor in observations of poor fishing, and poor fish health, along the western coast of Alaska.
Early snowmelt and low rainfall contributed to low river levels near Nome, affecting the ability of residents to reach usual fishing spots.
A jökulhlaup flood struck West Iceland’s Hvítá river in the early hours of Tuesday morning when water from a lagoon by the Langjökull glacier suddenly broke a new path and flowed in a different direction. Thick glacial mud now coats the river banks, and much of Borgarfjörður fjord.