Mark Hieronymus fishes in a stream just outside of Juneau. (Photo: Emmett FitzGerald)
Southeast Alaska has one of the healthiest salmon fisheries in the world, thanks to strict regulation and bountiful wild rivers for fish to spawn. But mining developments upstream in British Columbia has the Alaskan fishing community worried about the future of their industry. In the summer of 2014, Living on Earth's Emmett FitzGerald traveled there and witnessed some of the tensions being put on this fragile ecosystem.
Wrangell, Alaska is a small, isolated town at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River and a former a timber capital. But since the saw mills shut down in the ‘90s, the small town has reinvented itself as a tourist destination and a commercial fishing hub. Since both of these industries are dependent on the Stikine, some locals worry that a mining development upriver could put the whole town’s livelihood at risk.
Alaskan River Riches At Risk From Mining In Canada
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Published: April 16, 2015
With many untouched wild rivers and sensible fishing regulations, Alaska has some of the healthiest salmon fisheries in the world. But as Emmett FitzGerald reports, new gold and copper mines upstream in Canada have the fishing community in Southeast Alaska very concerned about what toxins could be released into the rivers.
In the first of Living on Earth’s three-part series on Alaskan River Riches, reporter Emmett FitzGerald wades through a small stream near Juneau for a lesson in casting and salmon science from a fly-fisherman with a conservation ethic.
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