Wednesday December 7, 2022


Ongoing research being carried out by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing insight into historically poor chinook and chum salmon runs in the U.S. state of Alaska.

The latest research by NOAA is indicating that factors such as poor diet, changes in metabolism, and an increase in parasitic infection among chinook have likely contributed to bad runs on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers for the previous two years.

Combined with warmer water temperatures, the effects have been disastrous to salmon and the people who depend on them, according to NOAA. Specifically, scientists have observed that in warm conditions fish typically grow faster and need more food to survive the winter, and fish have been maturing at an earlier age – resulting in them producing fewer eggs.

In the northern Bering Sea, NOAA has been conducting surveys of juvenile chinook and chum salmon of between one and three years of age, for over two decades. During that period, scientists observed a steady decline in abundance of chinook salmon juveniles, though the abundance of juvenile chum has increased in recent years.

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