Immense Fall Chum And Silver Salmon Run Swimming Up Yukon River

Sep 6, 2017

Subsistence fishers check their nets near Koyukuk.
Credit Alaska Department of Fish and Game

It's been a good year on the Yukon for fishing, and an abundance of salmon are currently swimming up the river.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game estimates 2,258,000 fall chum salmon entered the Yukon River by early September. That’s far above the historical median of 786,000 fish for this time of year. 

The state reports the fall chum that entered the river in July have reached the upper portions of the drainage and passed into Canada. The pulses of fall chum that arrived later in the season are expected to continue moving upriver and disperse throughout the drainage.  

Meanwhile, silver salmon have been entering the river since mid-August in roughly four pulses. By September 4, the state estimates 279,000 silver salmon entered the river, a run greater than the historical median of 178,000 silvers by that date.

Correction: The article previously confused the estimated run size of the silver and fall chum salmon with sonar estimates. The article has been corrected, and KYUK regrets the error.