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How Is Global Warming Impacting Salmon Fishing Trips in Alaska?

We have all heard about global warming and how it will affect the environment over the coming years, decades and even centuries. Some of the predictions are pretty frightening, including warmer temperatures, harsher storms and rising sea levels. All of this is already requiring both humans and animals to adapt to a new environment. Lately many people have been wondering how global warming might impact salmon fishing trips in Alaska. If you have been curious about this, and especially if you’re wondering whether this is still a good time to book a trip for yourself, read ahead to learn more.

Changes to salmon habitat

The truth is that when it comes to global warming and salmon fishing, there is some bad news but also room for people to try and make a difference. Here is a quick rundown. The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Defenders of Wildlife, two respected organizations that research this sort of thing, have stated that global warming is likely to reduce the levels of trout and salmon, with estimates ranging between 20 and 40 percent reduction over the next 80 to 100 years. Obviously this is startling news and cause for concern.

Reductions in salmon species, including pink salmon, coho, chinook and chums, will most likely be caused by a combination of changes resulting from global warming. The main problem is that these fish thrive in streams that have a specific temperature range, usually between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Already many fish are living in streams in the upper ranges of this ideal, closer to 65 rather than 50 degrees. Subtle increases in the temperature of the water can quickly make many streams uninhabitable for salmon or trout.

There are other factors involved too. Warming oceans will also decrease habitable zones. Less snowpack and decreased glacier size will reduce the size and depth of many streams, and even if they are cold enough, they may no longer attract salmon due to decreased size in fall and summer. Other predictions have warned that increased and more severe storms, including flooding, will upset delicate spawning areas, and that forest fires can damage ecosystems including river beds. These factors combined can easily decrease overall salmon populations, affecting states like California first and later having an impact on salmon fishing trips in Alaska.

Why fishing trips are beneficial

All of this sounds like a lot of cause for concern. Indeed, your first reaction may be to no longer go on salmon fishing trips in Alaska. However, this will actually do more harm than good. Fishing trips, especially in remote places in Alaska, advocate for a responsible and sustainable relationship between humans and their environment. They promote environmentally friendly forms of tourism and expose pristine parts of the environment to people who might otherwise never see it. In this way, salmon fishing trips actually help people physically interact with the environment and can show them why the environment is worth fighting for. Finally, they also bring tourist dollars to the area, and many of those dollars go back into conservation efforts and advocacy groups engaged in protecting wildlife areas. Come enjoy a salmon fishing trip in Alaska and consider helping spread the word about how global warming will impact salmon populations.