AK - Pandemic strains management of Yukon River salmon
Management of the Yukon River summer salmon season is in flux.
Some of that is normal. No one ever knows whether the fish will show up in the numbers predicted. But there is a new factor. This year, the state and the river communities are looking at how best to monitor salmon, while at the same time keeping local people safe from the coronavirus pandemic.
This summer, the Yukon River fishery is going to be managed out of Anchorage. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s biologist, Holly Carroll, usually flies to her office in Emmonak to manage the fishery during the salmon run. Not this year. Biologist Matthew Keyse said that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will also not be manning their office in Emmonak. Instead, the staff will be staying home in Fairbanks.
But you don’t have to go up the Yukon River to Emmonak to see the change. It starts downstream at the sonar project near Pilot Station, where ADF&G counts salmon swimming up the Yukon, and also samples genetic information to help estimate how many king salmon are swimming all the way to Canada.