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Thread: What is Going on With Alaska's Salmon?

  1. #1

    Default What is Going on With Alaska's Salmon?

    Is it me or does it appear that there is a shortage of returning salmon all over this state? I can understand one fishery having a poor run but man it seems like its going on everywhere. Just got done reading in the News Miner that they are haulting subsistence catching of Kings in the Yukon cuz the fish arent showing up there either, the Deshka, Kodiak, the Copper, it seems like its pretty widespread.

  2. #2

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    i just hope it doesn't do the same for the silver/pink run...

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Twin Turbo View Post
    i just hope it doesn't do the same for the silver/pink run...
    It didn't for the run of Reds that have already hit. Can't help but wonder if the commercial guys are getting them caught in their nets when fishing for other species....I am open to other explanations....

  4. #4
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    Default Not on the kusko..

    Netted 10 20-25 lb. kings yesterday with a buddy, and lots of fish camps have plenty.

  5. #5
    Member Cody77's Avatar
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    Default ?????????

    Is this the worst return across the state Alaska has seen?

  6. #6

    Default Global Warming

    I am probably the most anti-bunny hugging Alaskan that you can find. I believe that there is a warming trend and the runs of fish are running a lot later.

    I fish subsistence above the Toshiba Bridge - trail runs right from our house-
    I found that the biggest return was in September during Labor Day Weekend Week. The fish were just slammin. Does this mean that commercial fishers are taking many. YEs. I have heard that the Tawainese and the Chinese are fishing out in the open international ocean and are getting a bunch.

    However, I also believe that the fish are running later and later. Did I mention that I got a small 30 lb king.

    The fish are running much later.

    That show The Alaska Experiment had people getting salmon into October.

    What does this mean?

    The main larger runs of fish are returning later in the season.

    It could be a stinker as predicted as well.

    Sincerely,

    Thomas

  7. #7
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody77 View Post
    Is this the worst return across the state Alaska has seen?
    I don't think you can put this on the entire state, though there do seem to be a number of low runs this year. That being said, the Kenai, Kasilof, and Copper Rivers are all doing decent - not great, but not terrible either. The Russian seems to be looking OK for the first run as well.

  8. #8

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    I'm no scientist, but not sure that global warming is affecting the salmon run. I keep hearing and reading that the cold weather and cold temps in the ocean are slowing down/delaying the returns. I assume these cold temps aren't caused by global warming. Maybe we should call it climate change since it doesn't appear to be getting warmer this year. I've heard some say we are entering another ice age.

    Like I mentioned earlier I'm not a scientist, just reporting what I've read elsewhere.

  9. #9
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cody77 View Post
    Is this the worst return across the state Alaska has seen?
    Not even close..............yet.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Western View Post
    I'm no scientist, but not sure that global warming is affecting the salmon run. I keep hearing and reading that the cold weather and cold temps in the ocean are slowing down/delaying the returns. I assume these cold temps aren't caused by global warming. Maybe we should call it climate change since it doesn't appear to be getting warmer this year. I've heard some say we are entering another ice age.

    Like I mentioned earlier I'm not a scientist, just reporting what I've read elsewhere.
    Smiling about the mention of the words "global warming" as I add another stick to the wood stove to knock the June 24th morning chill off the cabin.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Western View Post
    I'm no scientist, but not sure that global warming is affecting the salmon run. I keep hearing and reading that the cold weather and cold temps in the ocean are slowing down/delaying the returns. I assume these cold temps aren't caused by global warming.......
    The La Nina effect is loosening:

    EL NIŅO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION (ENSO)
    DIAGNOSTIC DISCUSSION
    issued by
    CLIMATE PREDICTION CENTER/NCEP/NWS
    5 June 2008
    Synopsis: A transition from La Niņa to ENSO-neutral conditions is expected during June-
    July 2008.
    La Niņa continued to weaken during May 2008, reflected mainly by changes in sea
    surface temperatures (SSTs) across the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Negative SST anomalies in the
    central and east-central equatorial Pacific weakened, while the region of positive SST anomalies
    increased in the eastern Pacific (Fig. 1). The latest weekly SSTs in the westernmost Niņo-4 and
    Niņo-3.4 regions are near 0.5°C below-average, and were close to 0.5°C above-average in the
    easternmost Niņo-3 and Niņo 1+2 regions by the end of the month (Fig. 2).......
    You don't hear much about La Nina anymore, even when you're in it, because it doesn't help the environmental propaganda campaign of Global Warming:

    .....For the past year or so, the tropical seas of the Pacific have turned unusually cool, a phenomenon called La Niņa, and research at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre shows that La Niņa can knock the jet stream off course in the summer, leaving foul weather over Britain. Even though the present episode of La Niņa is now dying out, its influence lingers on and, sadly, means that the rest of the summer looks likely to continue the same unsettled weather pattern, just as the Met Office long-range forecast predicted.......

  12. #12
    Member chumstik's Avatar
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    Default Too early to say the sky is falling

    I'm not a biologist, but it seems like its a little too early to be diagnosing the cause of the poor king runs, and the poor red runs on a few rivers. Last year, the kings were pretty slammin'. Ocean conditions change year to year with natural La Nina/El Nino cycles, which in turn has a big effect on salmon survival. So natural ocean conditions could be the culprit, and things could completely change next summer. Bottom line is that you can't conclude much from one "off" season. And it seems pretty irrational to think that the commercial fleet just completely decimated the entire state's king population since last summer.

    Salmon are a very resilient species (assuming you have good habitat, which AK by and large does, compared to WA, OR, etc.) and fluctations in year-to-year populations are normal.

    Anyway you don't know what a great season is, unless you have a couple of crappy ones

  13. #13
    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    Default Iwas wondering the same thing

    I know we have had worse, andn we have all seen much better, but here is my concern. The copper river is not doing well, It has not colapsed, but it is very low. The yukon is hurting bad, the valley is in rough shape. If the trend continues, what will happen on the kenai? If the run is even 10 days later than it has been the last few years then dip netters aand commecial fishermen will have problems. Dipnetting season closes the end of July, the run doesn't normally hit significant numbers until sometime between the 15th and the 20th of July. Commercial fisherman start seeing more restrictions as the silvers approach. and if the run has more serious problems then by the time we know it is too late, for any serious help to begiven in the form of restrictions. I need to fill my freezer, my family eats fish every third meal. we don't buy meat, I shoot moose, caribou, and I fish, for a change in diet we hunt grouse and raise free range chickens. I have doubled the size of my garden, but with the late wet, cold spring it looks like my harvest will be down on beans and peas as well as squash. The potatoes and carrots, beats, spinach and other greens are fine but still!!! Normally my family would just budget out a little more money for groceries for the winter, but with energy costs skyrocketing ( and everything else with them) That may not be possible.
    I know others do things differantly, some don't truly rely on fish, it is just a luxury, some can afford the hits, some do not have children to feed for some gas costs suck, but are doable.

    My question is this with all that is happening are there others out there that are wondering or facing the same thing? This is inconvenient for sport, and financially painful for comm, but what about those who actually rely on these fish?

  14. #14
    Member willphish4food's Avatar
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    Default

    "Sport" is a wide term, my friend. Many "sport"fishermen rely upon their sport catch for their food supply. And as reference to high fuel costs, a drive to more abundant salmon sources than what are available in the valley is not practical nor even feasible for many "sportfishing" families.

  15. #15
    Member akfishfool's Avatar
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    Default I agree

    I agree, and I meant no offense with the term sport. If you look at any of my other posts you will see I have fed my family many times with succesful sport trips. In this case sport simply meant those who are not feeding there families primarily with fish or relying on it. My point was what are people doing to get by who depend upon the fish? This was not intended to offend anyone, in my years here I have done all of the above, Sport for fun, commercial, Subsistance, and sport for food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by upstream View Post
    Smiling about the mention of the words "global warming" as I add another stick to the wood stove to knock the June 24th morning chill off the cabin.
    Upstream do you know the difference between "weather" and "climate"?

  17. #17

    Default Global Cooling?

    The latest and largest study has shown that the oceans water temperatures have cooled since 2003 at least. I think that study became public around two months ago?
    Hike faster. I hear banjo music.

  18. #18
    Mark
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    Quote Originally Posted by akfishfool View Post
    .....My point was what are people doing to get by who depend upon the fish?.....
    They'll get paid like last time:

    Alaska Gov. Tony Knowles on Wednesday declared as disaster areas key river drainages suffering the lowest salmon returns since statehood in 1959.....

    .....Knowles said his latest disaster declaration will free up $1 million in immediate state aid to be distributed by a cabinet-level disaster task force.

    In 1998, the federal government provided $7.5 million in aid to salmon-dependent villages in the Yukon, Kuskokwim and Norton Sound regions.

    Last year, the state released $8 million and the federal government authorised $50 million in aid and fisheries research funds for western Alaska. In addition, the U.S. Small Business Administration provided nearly $30 million in loans......
    Add the energy payout, and things are looking up.

    Like Senator Everett Dirksen once said:

    A million here, a million there..............pretty soon you're talking real money............

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