Mysterious salmon deaths along the Yukon River

Reports of dead fish had been coming in since last week. Scientists believe this could lead to a dramatic decrease in the salmon population. The salmon carcasses were found with eggs and sperm still inside, meaning they have not spawned. (Photo Credit Alaska Fish and Game)
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Dead salmon have been found covering the banks of Yukon River leaving scientists and residents to wonder why.

Reports of dead fish had been coming in since last week. Scientists believe this could lead to a dramatic decrease in the salmon population. The salmon carcasses were found with eggs and sperm still inside, meaning they have not spawned.

Stephanie Quinn-Davidson, the director of the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission has received multiple reports of dead and lethargic Salmon.

“Kids were able to catch chum salmon with their bare hands in the mainstream of the Yukon River because the chum salmon seemed so disoriented." Quotes Quinn-Davidson.

She received a separate report where two people in the Koyukuk had found 100 salmon along the shore of one river bank. What’s more odd is that birds of prey don’t seem to be eating or even touching the beached fish as they usually would.

Quinn-Davidson theorizes that heat stress may be the cause of the deaths, as temperatures have been warmer this summer.

Quinn-Davison encourages those who come across any dead salmon to take pictures of them, count how many fish there are and immediately contact the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.