Growing up as she did in a small Wisconsin town, Riley always gravitated to the outdoors. With family who instilled a sense of independence and adventure, she learned to explore her surroundings on foot and skis, then took to rock climbing and rafting, developing an intense interest in wildlife and wildlands along the way.
“My grandma played a critical role in my childhood and my curiosity about nature,” says Riley. “She had this inexplicable sense of the way the world worked. She spoke magically about plants and animals, all the way down to the stinkbugs in her house.
Adapted from a conversation with guests Ted Hart from the Chilkoot lndian Association and Meredith Pochardt from Haines, Alaska. Listen to the full “Fish of the Week” podcast episode about Eulachon here.
The American Fisheries Society has settled on Eulachon, but there are others.
The local name I hear a lot is ooligan. It’s like o-o-l-i-g-a-n. And oolichon. Many people say hooligan, and the traditional name for them is saak, s-a-a-k. That’s the Tlingit name.
Candlefish. Once dried, they’re so oily, you can literally light them on fire.
There are over 20,000 bee species worldwide, and approximately 100 call Alaska home—ranging from social bumblebees to four types of solitary bees and a few others in between. They play an important role pollinating plants, including wild berry-picking favorites.
Why are two and a half million acres of land in Northwest Alaska conserved as a wildlife refuge? What makes this place so special? In a word, wetlands. The lands that today make up Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, and that are the homeland of generations of Iñupiat, are top-notch wildlife habitat consisting largely of wetlands.
“I think one of the things that COVID has laid to bare in our rural communities…that you’re seeing more apparently, are the connections between things like food security, mental well-being, and cultural sovereignty.” — Arctic Youth Ambassador Samuel Uuyavuk Schimmel
March 2020 was set to be an eventful one for a group of young bright Alaskans. Those young people — the third and latest cohort of the Arctic Youth Ambassadors (AYA) Program — were packing their bags for Anchorage, where they would be taking part in the AYA Program’s orientation summit. Through a multi-day event at the Anchorage Museum, the…
Migratory birds connect us to the wider world. In spring, when birds arrive from hundreds or even thousands of miles away, we marvel at the distances they’ve traveled, the places they’ve been. Birds don’t heed borders or language barriers. They transcend them in every sense, soaring beyond the confines of the human-built world and showing us — when we take the time to look — how interconnected we are as inhabitants of this planet.
In Alaska, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service employs a small army of dedicated and passionate staff with a large spectrum of roots. Some were born and raised in Alaska. Others have come from around the world. Regardless, some stay to do a job they feel is important enough to spend a lifetime doing. Like Greg Siekaniec, who has served the people of Alaska in numerous roles across the state for nearly two decades.
I grew up in Minnesota—the western prairie region—and was fortunate enough to have exposure to what I call the “lakes country.” My parents had a cabin…
Metallic. Salmon turn steely too when they enter the salt as young smolts. And while they may share the same genus and species as Rainbow Trout, something bigger draws Steelhead to leave their birth rivers for the open water.
Listen to the full conversation with Trout Unlimited’s Mark Hieronymus and retired Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist Roger Harding about this special variety of Rainbow Trout on episode 17 of Fish of the Week!
I read that Lesser Yellowlegs are under-studied on their breeding grounds because they nest in inhospitable environments: difficult to access and mosquito-ridden, boreal bogs. That doesn’t sound like the most romantic fieldwork location, and those conditions definitely weren’t how I imagined wild Alaska prior to visiting the state. However, where the birds are, the birders are — and in this case, the ornithologists.
We sat down with sturgeon biologists Laura Heironimus and Ken Lepla to talk about two living dinosaurs found along the Pacific Coast. (Listen to the full conversation on episode 16 of Fish of the Week!).
Green and White Sturgeon are found throughout the major river basins on the West Coast of North America—the Columbia, Sacramento-San Joaquin, Snake and Fraser. That said, these wanderers can be found from California to Alaska in freshwater, in saltwater, and all the estuaries in between.
Stories from Alaska by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service