"Our temperatures reached 83 degrees, and seem to be getting hotter! We think that maybe the warm water has something to do with the humpy die-off?"
Observation by Jolene Auliye:
Our family was heading up the river yesterday and we had noticed a lot of "healthy" looking humpies floating dead in the water. Hundreds of humpies lined the river as we traveled upstream. The fish came in earlier this year. Our temperatures reached 83 degrees, and seem to be getting hotter! We think that maybe the warm water has something to do with the humpy die-off?
Jayde Ferguson, Fish Pathologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, writes:
Thanks for looping us in on this one. It does appear environmental and quite similar to the chum die-off in the Kobuk. High numbers of fish in conjunction with warm temps and thus low dissolved oxygen creates a bad situation. There’s really nothing that we can test for since it’s quite convincing that it’s an environmental issue.
Toby Thaler, Policy Advisor for the Model Forest Policy Program, writes:
Folks could carry a good thermometer and take water temperature, take photos, make notes, and include in posts to LEO. It's important to document these terrible events.
Darlene Holmberg in Aniak writes:
When humpies are in good number, they do litter the high water mark, and their after-spawn look isn't as decrepit as other salmonid. Was it noted if they were pre-spawn mortalities?
Comments from LEO Editors:
This observation has been forwarded to the Norton Sound Health Corporation.