Chinook salmon released into the Fox River in 2009 are starting to appear in their new spawning grounds. (Canadian Press)

It's a 5,000-kilometre trek over dams and up the Yukon River, but this month, a good number of five-year-old Chinook salmon spawners are returning to Fox Creek, Yukon, just north of Whitehorse.

About 57,000 Chinook salmon fry were put in the creek in 2009, the Ta'an Kwachan Council says. That move could soon pay off and First Nation members are starting to get excited, says Cora Lee Johns, fish and wildlife coordinator .

"I've been talking to a lot of my citizens about the success that has happened in our community stewardship program, and we did have one our citizens ask if we can start harvesting," Johns says.

Johns says harvesting could happen in the next few years, and if the salmon continue to return, the First Nation will get a share.

Johns says they have yet to determine why salmon disappeared from the creek sometime in the 1950s. It could have been because of a forest fire or because there were a lot of beavers in the area at the time.