In early October Vancouver Island reached a drought Level 4 which impacted wildlife across the coast. After a mass salmon die off in Bella Bella, concern grew regarding drought and a delayed salmon spawning season. Currently east Vancouver Island is at a drought level of 3, which means adverse impacts are possible, while west Vancouver Island is at a drought level of 2 with less likely impacts. Dave Rolson, Tseshaht First Nation’s fisheries manager, said, “Timing is everything, really, when it comes to fish and when it comes to environmental conditions.”
A third deer in North Carolina has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reported the deer was hunter-harvested in Surry County this archery season approximately 10 miles from the two previous positive detections in Yadkin County.
Melting permafrost and severe erosion have plagued the community for decades. The most recent storm brought waves so fierce, the water claimed roughly half of the 80 or so remaining feet of land that stands between the back end of the school and the edge of the Ningliq river.
Record-setting drought conditions have left many of B.C’s streams and waterways too low for salmon to swim up to spawn. Heiltsuk First Nation leaders say hundreds of fish were found rotting in a creek in Bella Bella, B.C., usually teeming by fall with migrating pink and chum salmon.
Die-offs of krill are in some cases associated with hypoxia (low oxygen) excess sediment suspended in the water column and changes in water temperature. There were recent reports of high levels of Alexandrium in water samples in the areas, and Norton Sound Health Corporation is performing some testing of krill samples (see below). There was also an unprecedented storm event only a week ago, unusual for the storm surge and early season.
Nome's landscape is physically altered, with raw material scattered wildly, the coastline reconfigured, and camps that anchored generations of subsistence either flattened or gone.
Several communities in the Norton Sound are struggling with contaminated drinking water days after the significant September storm hit the region.
GOLOVIN RESIDENTS ARE IN CLEANUP MODE as their community works to restore power, phone service and clear debris. After the flood waters receded from the weekend’s severe fall storm, some locals are left with feet of sand in their homes. “At my place we’ve got three feet of sand we’re still shoveling out with the crew here, trying to get the sand out of the living area so we can get the sheetrock to go ahead and dry off,” Alaska Senator Donny Olson of Golovin said.
Storms can bring a bounty to the beach - driftwood sometimes or in this case, clams! But be careful out there. There are new concerns about emerging levels of harmful algae in Western Alaska waters, which could impact shellfish and human health.
In a recent report from the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), 16 salmon caught in the Mjólká river in the Westfjords were confirmed to originate from farms. Signs indicate that the salmon originate from open sea farms by Haganes, where a hole in the pen caused part of the stock to escape in August.
The tomcod harvests in the Kongiganak, Cavuuneq and Ilkivik Rivers have been a failure. Also in other areas, based on observations from Chevak and Chefornak. Both the surface and bottom trawl results show a clear decline in tomcod biomass in the North Bering Sea.
Not a single catch was reported in the village of Chefornak. Meanwhile in Kivalina, dozens and dozens of tomcods are pictured and posted on "The Alaska Life" Facebook page.
Extreme rain swamped rivers and farmland across southern B.C. and triggered mudslides that blocked every major highway connecting the Lower Mainland to the rest of the country in November 2021. This is a timeline of the first week of the crisis.
25-30 reindeer drowned in the Kautokeino River today after a herd of reindeer passed through the ice. The accident happened when the herd of reindeer was crossing the fragile ice on the river. This is the third similar incident in the area in a couple of weeks. Yesterday, three reindeer went through the ice. They were all rescued alive. This article is also available in the Sami language at this link.
There is usually an abundance of this fish in the fall and early winter season. This is a usual harvest for most YK Delta coastal villages. Note: According to NOAA Bering Sea Bottom Trawl data, there has been an 88% decline reported in the biomass of saffron cod from 2020 to 2021 in the N. Bering Sea.
In 2009, the numbers dropped down to just 500 pairs of Chinook returning. Yet, as of Tuesday, more than 8,000 Chinook had returned to their Cowichan River spawning grounds. The improvement is the result of years of conservation efforts by Cowichan Tribes, who have worked to restore the river to its course before logging operations changed the river.
"This year we had a lot more rain than other years, we used to be able to get on our ATVs and travel 10-12 miles upriver. I haven't seen or heard of anyone using ATVs to travel upriver this year. I think the breakthrough channel has a lot to do with us not being able to travel on ATVs. I see a lot of my favorite ATV fishing spots washed away from the highwater."