Yukon River smokehouses should be filled this summer with oil-rich strips of king salmon — long used by Alaska Natives as a high-energy food to get through the long Alaska winters. But they're mostly empty.
The kings failed to show up, and not just in the Yukon.
One Alaska river after another has been closed to king fishing this summer because significant numbers of fish failed to return to spawn. The dismally weak return follows weak runs last summer and poor runs in 2007, which also resulted in emergency fishing closures.