Uncharacteristically warm water temperatures and low river levels are killing salmon and Arctic char in Anchorage and the Matanuska and Susitna valleys.
The Alaska Dispatch News reports that Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists have recorded water temperatures as high as 74 degrees in Jim Creek, which is a tributary of the Knik River. Dead salmon have been found near the river’s weir.
In Anchorage, officials say last week about 500 recently-stocked Arctic char died at Little Campbell Lake when water temperatures went above 70 degrees.
Biologists say the combination of high temperatures and low water levels have created almost perfect conditions for fish die-offs, though they doubt the dies offs will have lasting effects on fish numbers in the area.