Originally published by CBC, July 26, 2018

There will not be a public chinook salmon fishery in the Yukon River watershed this year for almost the tenth year in a row.

Harvey Jessup, the chair of the Yukon Salmon Sub-Committee, said the number of chinook expected to reach their spawning grounds in the territory won’t be enough to support fishing.

The sub-committee makes recommendations to the federal government and First Nations on the salmon fishery.

Jessup said First Nations have also been asking members to reduce or stop their harvest altogether.

He said 74,000 chinook that originated in Canada are estimated to have entered the Yukon River this year.

That’s far less than the runs of 150,000 to 175,000 salmon in the 1980s, said Jessup.

He said an agreement with the United States requires the Americans to let between 42,000 and 55,000 Canadian salmon reach Yukon.

“All of our salmon have to get here through Alaska, the Alaskan government has done their fair share in management,” said Jessup.

“But the reality is the fish are just not coming back.”

Jessup noted salmon spend the majority of their lives in the ocean.

“There are kinds of issues we probably don’t understand,” he said.


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