Alaska halts 2014 Chinook salmon fishing on Yukon River

The worst fears are coming true this year for the Chinook salmon run on the Yukon River. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says there will be no commercial or sport fishing for Chinook salmon this season.

Fishery manager Jeff Estensen says that includes subsistence harvesters.

“The fishermen on the Alaska side of things can really expect to see no opportunity to fish for Chinook salmon at all in 2014,” Estensen says.

In the 1990s, the Chinook run averaged more than 300,000 fish.

Since 2008, fewer than half that number have returned to the Yukon River.

Last year, the number was well below 100,000, and this year fishery managers are expecting even fewer.