The Yukon River basin is the fourth largest watershed in North America at 831,400 square kilometers (km2). Approximately 126,000 people live within the basin and depend on the Yukon River and its tributaries for drinking water, commerce, subsistence, and recreational fish and game resources.
Climate warming in the Arctic and Subarctic regions encompassing the Yukon basin has recently become a concern because of possible far-reaching effects on the ecosystem. Large amounts of carbon and nutrients are stored in permafrost and have potential for release in response to this warming. These changes in carbon and nutrient cycling may result in changes in stream chemistry and productivity, including salmon populations, and ultimately changes in the chemistry and productivity of the Bearing Sea.
To address these concerns, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a 5-year comprehensive water-quality study of the Yukon River and its major tributaries starting in 2000. The study included frequent water-quality sampling at a fixed site network as well as intensive sampling along the Yukon River and its major tributaries.
This report contains observations of water and sediment quantity and quality of the Yukon River and its tributaries in Canada during 2004. Chemical, biological, physical, and discharge data are presented for the reach of river between Atlin, British Columbia, Canada, and Eagle, Alaska, USA.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Water and Sediment Quality in the Yukon River and its Tributaries Between Atlin, British Columbia, Canada, and Eagle, Alaska, USA, 2004