Sunday, January 31, 2010

Feds Declare Yukon Chinook a Fishery Disaster

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke recently declared the Yukon River Chinook a fishery disaster based on a recent downturn in returns of the economically critical fish. Many communities in the Yukon basin rely heavily on subsistence fisheries for Chinook and in recent years catches have been dramatically reduced to protect the few returning fish. Chinook runs have been down all throughout western Alaska over the last five years. Managers blame poor ocean conditions for the dismal returns, but many also blame bycatch in a pollack fishery as a major factor in the downturn in abundance. Fortunately habtiat in most the region remains intact meaning that once ocean conditions improve stocks should respond accordingly.

See the NOAA press release:

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