ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Add salmon to the list of species affected by Alaska's blistering summer temperatures, including the hottest July on record.
Dead salmon have shown up in river systems throughout Alaska, and the mortalities are probably connected to warm water or low river water levels, said Sam Rabung, director of commercial fisheries for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
The department has not quantified past heat-related fish deaths because they tended to be sporadic and inconsistent, Rabung said. But department scientists this year will analyze fish deaths, summarize observation and record effects.
“If we have a few years in a row like this, then I think we have a bigger issue,” he said.
Spent carcasses of salmon that die after females lay eggs and males fertilize them are a common annual sight along Alaska streams and provide nourishment for scavenging birds and bears.
Some carcasses this summer have been a concern because the dead fish were still full of ..Read More