Here’s a story that looks a summer when a very poor red salmon run, linked to warm ocean temperatures, surprised Alaskans.
Here’s how the story begins:
ANCHORAGE — After just a few hours of letting the current comb through his net in the Copper River, Shane Cummings knew that something wasn’t right.
Dr. Cummings, a sports medicine specialist, had driven 250 miles east of Anchorage with a seasoned fishing party, including a few men who had gone to the river every summer since the 1960s. They motored between sandbars to a familiar spot, and slid the wide hoops of their nets into the steel-colored water.
In a good year, they could pull 70 or 80 red salmon from the river, which they would later brine in sugar and salt and bathe in alder smoke, their Little Chief smokers puffing in their driveways. They would carry Ziplocs of fish to the neighbors and set long tables in their backyards, pulling fillet after fillet off the grill.
But as the hours passed on this day in early June, nobody on the river netted a red, or even saw one. “It wasn’t usual at all,” Dr. Cummings said.
Read more here.