Bering Cisco are the type of fish you see and say “Yup, that’s a fish” and continue with your day. They have that classic, but common fish look: silvery and fusiform. They’re not impressively huge either, fitting easily into two hands like a breakfast burrito. At one pound, they weigh about the same too.
While they don’t share the iconic status of their Pacific salmon cousins, they’re truly “Alaska’s fish” in that they’re not found anywhere else on Earth. That is, except in the busy kosher markets in New York City. And this is what makes their story incredible.
A crispness has snuck into the air. Vibrant colors are creeping into the vegetation. Some of us have seen the first snow of the year. Flowers have gone to seed, bringing abundant berries to harvest. Let us thank the pollinators… but where are they now? And, how can you help them?
Sitka, Alaska — Peterson Creek is a classic Alaska creek: it’s where new generations of salmon, char, and other fishes start life. Specifically, Peterson Creek happens to be home to Coho Salmon, Pink Salmon and Dolly Varden char.
A fish passage project here was recently completed…just in time for salmon returning to spawn and Sitka’s youth returning to school.
What’s the weather today?
That question (along with “what’s the weather going to be tomorrow?”) might be one of the most commonly asked in Alaska, and for good reason. Weather dictates our travel and activities.
Weather is especially important for the field biologists of Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge who spend their summer studying seabirds. Each May, five crews migrate out to remote islands scattered from the north end of the Bering Sea to the west end of the Aleutian Islands to Southeast Alaska. …
The Refuge Information Technician (RIT) program is recognized as one of the most successful public relations programs within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Since the 1980s, RITs have carried the message of wildlife conservation to 100 villages or one third of all of Alaska’s communities. They employ the use of their traditional skills as well as skills learned from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to bring the two worlds together for one cause, the conservation of wildlife for future generations.
Through RITs’ ties to the rural Alaska and native culture they also became teachers to the USFWS…
From Kanuti Refuge to the coast of South America, this bird is a travel expert
Hundreds of miles inland from the icy waters of the Bering Sea and Arctic Ocean, a shorebird’s piping whistle calls across the boreal wetlands of interior Alaska. Spiraling and singing, he performs a dramatic aerial display for his potential mate, a female whimbrel recently arrived from wintering in South America. The midnight sun skims across the horizon as they begin their summer life together on Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge, at the edge of the Arctic Circle.
For those of us with wanderlust, the incredible long-distance…
Looking for office décor? Do you have fish in need of somewhere to hide? How about a new fuzzy, low maintenance friend to welcome into your home? Some will say the soft and spongy freshwater moss ball can help you with any of these needs.
This lanky, medium-sized, mottled brown shorebird with a decurved bill once darkened the skies with its migrations across the North American continent. In the 1850s, observers described flocks of calling birds that stretched for miles every spring and fall, their voices sounding like the distant jingling of sleigh bells.
There are roughly 35 dragonfly species known to occur in Alaska. They range in size from tiny metallic-green sedge sprites to the five-inch-long lake darner. With 26 species documented to date, one of the top areas for dragonfly diversity in Alaska is Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge.
“Today I saw the dragonfly…He dried his wings: like gauze they grew; Thro’ crofts and pastures wet with dew. A living flash of light he flew!”
— The Dragonfly, by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Nate Olson came to Alaska because he wanted to see more than southcentral Minnesota farmland.
“Like a lot of Midwestern kids, I was drawn to mountains,” recalls Nate, the Alaska Regional Aviation Manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “I wanted to see something more. Basically, I just wanted to leave.”
And leave he did—but by a route that was more rather than less constraining, at least initially.
“I joined the Navy on a whim,” Nate says, “and there were a few times in boot camp when I asked myself ‘What have I done?’ But it was good for…