The tragedy of over-fishing Yukon River salmon fishing to the point of the brink of extinction is a natural human fish management course of events. Humans ordinarily over-utilize a resource and through competition and social inertia continue to do so. Rivers are especially easy to over-fish in regard to salmon that obligingly return to their ancestral rivers from the sea every few years making them prey for nets put in their path. Could land-locked salmon like Kokane and steelhead that re main in the river for life and hence escape the international fishing fleet in the Bering Sea stand a better chance?
I stipulate that I know little about the Yukon or salmon fishing there. I live about 700 miles away in Wrangell Alaska about fifteen miles from British Columbia. The only pro fisheries guy I knew was from Argentina and studied in a graduate program at the University of Alaska at Juneau. Therefore I am just suggesting the creation of steelhead and Kokane hatcheries along the Yukon designed expressly to replenish the emptying out of the river from Bering Sea over-fishing. I got a couple of undergraduate degrees yet never could afford that graduate degree I wanted to be an educator in East Africa or Eastern Europe so I generate some ideas that aren’t pro career stuff now and then.
In theory (a philosophical theory rather than a graduate of fisheries theory) nature abhors a vacuum. If salmon that formerly dominated the Yukon are gone something else might or even should replace it. Rather than flooding the river with a sort of fish less desirable than a salmonid, the good human policy of intervening to synthetically balance nature (they habitually unbalance the natural balance) might be applied.
Sure the Yukon would be a cold place to have a fish hatchery with the annual hard freeze. Maybe some sort of geothermal heating of water enough to keep the hatchery waters from freezing within an indoor ecosystem along the river would work. Maybe geothermal heating could be used to generate electricity as well.
A Yukon River stuffed to the gills with salmonids, albeit smaller than king salmon, could be a good subsistence harvest for humans and returning kings as well.