Thursday January 18, 2024

CBC News

Environmental conditions likely have a significant impact on Yukon River chinook salmon and that’s something that fisheries managers need to pay attention to, according to a new scientific paper.

The paper, published in the most recent edition of the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, saw researchers pull up decades’ worth of data on “environmental and ecosystem variables” like water temperature, precipitation and the date of ice break-up on the Yukon River at Dawson City. They then looked at the possible effects of those variables on chinook at various stages of life, from eggs to mature fish migrating back to their spawning grounds. 

The impacts “weren’t trivial,” lead author Alyssa Murdoch told CBC News in an interview. Murdoch is a postdoctoral fellow who works partly through Carleton University and the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. 

“We were finding it on the scale of, you know, losses of about tens of thousands of fish,” she said. 

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