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AFE 2021: Are Alaska’s Salmon Already in Hot Water?
April 7, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Warming temperatures in Alaska’s rivers and streams pose a risk for pacific salmon as they return to their spawning habitat. The rivers and streams across Alaska’s landscape now span a wide range of summer water temperatures from near freezing (~32 °F/0 °C) to warm and balmy (>70 °F/21 °C). The warmest part of this water temperature range (>64 °F/18 °C) raises concerns for Pacific salmon that prefer cold water and the communities that depend on salmon harvests. This session will cover the findings from three recent research projects that provide insight into the influence of warm water temperatures on Pacific salmon. The first study focuses on the influence of climate in local watersheds on productivity of Cook Inlet Chinook salmon populations. The second study examines the evidence of heat stress in Yukon River Chinook salmon using laboratory tests. The third study compiles observations of Pacific salmon mortality during the unusually hot and dry summer of 2019 from biologists and citizens across Alaska.
Presenters: Erik Schoen, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Institute of Arctic Biology
Vanessa von Biela, U.S. Geologic Survey, Alaska Science Center