- Associated Press - Sunday, August 17, 2014

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - Researchers are looking at Kuskokwim River smelt this summer as part of a mine environmental impact statement study.

Larry Moulton with Owl Ridge Natural Resources Consultants and a team followed the small fish up the river by helicopter and spotted a large school of smelt just above Kalskag one evening.

The fish were gone the next morning when the team returned. Moulton says the fish had apparently spawned.

KYUK (http://is.gd/TFQ9Ey) reports researchers collected samples of clumps of eggs from the gravel and sand at the bottom of the river.

Moulton says the fast exit of the smelt after spawning contrasts with other studies. For example, smelt spent a couple weeks in the river around Togiak before moving out.

The research is part of a Donlin Mine environmental study.

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Information from: KYUK-AM, http://www.kyuk.org

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