Alaska salmon deaths blamed on record warm temperatures

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska fisheries officials say widespread salmon deaths this summer are tied to river water heated by record high temperatures.

Adult salmon that died before they could spawn have been seen in major rivers that empty into the Bering Sea.

The state this week restricted fishing in two tributaries of the Susitna (soo-SIT-nah) river because of low river levels or warm water.

Sam Rabung is the state’s director of commercial fisheries. He says fish kills tied warm water happen annually but are more widespread this year.

Alaska experienced a warm June followed by its warmest month ever recorded in July.

University of Alaska Fairbanks assistant professor of fisheries conservation Peter Westley says fish deaths are not a surprise given the state’s warming climate and forecasts by climate models.

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