Energy, Mines and Resources


Fish Menu


The fish most commonly-found in Yukon streams and rivers where placer mining occurs are:

  • Arctic grayling
  • Chinook salmon
  • Slimy sculpin

Slimy sculpin, Chinook salmon and Arctic Grayling

Burbot, lake chub, long-nosed sucker, northern pike, round whitefish and Arctic lamprey have also been found in streams where placer mining occurs.



Long-nosed sucker
Long-nosed sucker

Fish life cycles vary between species. So do their requirements for reproduction and growth.

How is Reproduction Different between Chinook Salmon and Arctic Grayling?

Chinook Salmon:

  • Spawn once in their lifetime in very specialized habitat, expending all their energy and life in this effort. They die after spawning.
  • Produce relatively few, but large eggs, which they deposit in carefully prepared redds (or nests) in the fall when the water runs very clear.
  • Eggs incubate in gravels for 6 or 7 months and hatch in late winter or spring.
  • Fry hatch with large yolk sacs attached, which provide nourishment for weeks.
  • Young salmon live in fresh water for weeks, months or years prior to migrating out to sea. Suitable feeding and rearing habitat is critical during this time.

Arctic Grayling:

  • Spawn multiple times in their lifetime, and require less specialized spawning habitat.
  • Produce relatively small eggs in the spring which are spread over a variety of habitat types and areas.
  • Eggs incubate in 2 to 3 weeks and hatch in late spring.
  • Fry have small yolk sacs and poorer swimming ability. They are dependent on water currents to carry them into warmer water areas with sufficient food in spring for them to survive and grow large enough to swim and seek out rearing habitats.