CBC News —
The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says the number of Yukon River chinook salmon is significantly below average so far this year.
The sonar station at Eagle, Alaska has seen just under 14,000 chinook make it upstream. The historical average is 28,800 fish crossing the U.S./Canada border.
“The projections as of today are really disheartening, based on the passage we’ve seen on the sonar so far,” said Holly Carroll, area manager of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Anchorage.
“We can’t really speculate on how well we did until we complete the season. But at this point, it’s enough to say that these below-average counts were unexpected, at the Eagle sonar.”
Yukon River chinook runs have been in general decline in recent decades. The last few years have seen total annual runs averaging about 73,000 fish, compared to runs averaging around 158,000 in the 1990s.