Here’s an excerpt of an article in the Anchorage Daily News discussing the variability in ocean conditions, and how they have contributed to the low returns we are seeing here in the Kuskokwim.
Decline in king salmon is rooted in the sea, state biologists say
Whatever’s plaguing state’s salmon isn’t in the rivers, experts say.
By RICHARD MAUER
Anchorage Daily News
Published: June 23rd, 2012 08:52 PM
Last Modified: June 23rd, 2012 10:49 PM
Something in the ocean has been death to Alaska’s king salmon.
The state’s iconic fish, treasured for food, sport and cash, should now be swimming in droves up rivers from the Southeast rain forests to the populated Railbelt and the Western Alaska tundra.
But they’re not.
To preserve future runs, state officials are clamping down throughout Alaska, banning even catch-and-release fishing of returning kings in Southcentral and halting subsistence king fishing on the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers. They’re still reviewing whether to restrict the commercial setnetters in Cook Inlet who target sockeyes but can’t help taking kings as well.
“We’re in a period of low abundance and low returns, statewide, and whether it’s from Southeast, Copper River, Cook Inlet, Kodiak, Nushagak, Yukon, we’re just in this period of low productivity in the ocean,” said Ricky Gease, a biologist and director of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association.
You can read the entire article at http://www.adn.com/2012/06/23/2517571/decline-in-king-salmon-is-rooted.html