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.
Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy. The low number of salmon is not helping the bears, and a low count of berries.
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.
Flycatchers, swallows and warblers are among the species “in a mass die-off across New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Arizona and farther north into Nebraska.
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.
The Government of Nunavut is restricting harvest due to what it calls “a recent steep decline in the population” of the herd. That decline has led to a “conservation concern” about the western Nunavut herd’s numbers.