Salmon are counted at the Whitehorse fish ladder in August 2016. After closing as usual for the winter last fall, the Whitehorse fish ladder officially re-opened for the season on June 10. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse fish ladder open for the season

Manager Brittany Key said there are low expectations for chinook salmon numbers

The Whitehorse fish ladder officially opened to the public on June 10 after closing for the winter season.

They’re anticipating a shorter run of chinook salmon to pass through the ladder this year.

“We’re only supposed to get around 600-700 fish,” said Whitehorse fish ladder manager Brittany Key.

“That’s low.”

Key noted that the amount of chinook salmon in the fish ladder tends to vary year to year. She pointed out that last year’s chinook salmon count was similarly low, but it reached “around 1,300” in 2017.

She suspects these recent low numbers are related to changing fishing patterns in Alaska.

“It might just be Alaska’s way of allowing people to fish or how many they’re allowed to fish per family or whatnot.”

Although Key isn’t concerned by the low number, she does hope that it turns out higher than predicted.

“It’s always good to get more than what we are told.”

This year’s chinook salmon run will also arrive later than usual.

“We might be expecting the first fish around the beginning of August, but we’re still supposed to get a good number of salmon up,” said Key.

The Whitehorse fish ladder is currently open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but will soon be open until 7 p.m. by late June. It will remain open for the year until early September.

Contact Joshua Azizi at joshua.azizi@yukon-news.com

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