A new study says that chemical signatures imprinted on tiny stones that form inside the ears of fish show that two of Alaska’s most productive salmon populations, and the fisheries they support, depend on the entire watershed.
The study coincides with renewed efforts to gain permits for the Pebble Mine, a proposed copper and gold excavation near the headwaters of the Nushagak River. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ draft environmental analysis considered only two or three years of fish counts in specific locations in proximity to the proposed mine. It states that fish habitat lost to the mine could be recreated elsewhere.
But the new study shows that salmon habitat shifts year to year, and how productive one area is for a short period might not represent its overall value to the fish population or larger ecosystem.
LINK (via: SitNews)