Don Young has a new hypothesis on salmon declines

E & E News

While the decline of wild Pacific salmon — including the massive “king salmon” — can be attributed, at least in part, to warming waters, Alaska Rep. Don Young (R) has another theory: nuclear submarines.

The dean of the House acknowledged today that his idea might garner some snickers, but he argued it should at least be considered as federal scientists investigate the falling fish population.

“We have some problems. We recognize it. Some of the species are way down — the king salmon, chinook or whatever you want to call it — is way down in all our rivers,” Young said in his opening remarks at a House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans and Wildlife hearing. The session is reviewing three bills Young authored to address his state’s fishing industry, as well as a bevy of other wildlife legislation (Greenwire, July 26).

“We don’t know why. We don’t believe there’s any activity in the rivers that are causing it, but I know we’re not catching like we used to because we can’t,” he continued. “They’re not there. We have to figure this out. … Is it climate change, are they moving north, is there a nuclear sub stuck out there somewhere?”

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