Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
August 2015

At First Light
The 2015 waterfowl outlook shines brightly

By Ken Marsh

September 1, 2014

It’s a half-hour until shooting light and the Susitna Flats are already waking up. Wings whistle in the darkness overhead and the pond out front has gathered the stars and folded them in with dawn’s first fiery traces. Ducks are splashing down among the decoys and every so often a sassy mallard far off in the marsh cuts loose with a resounding qua-aack, quack, quack!

We’d set up our blinds the evening before, Begich and I splitting up ...   Waterfowl Outlook Article Continued

End of the Road Angling
Shore fishing on the Homer Spit

By Ryan Ragan

As soon as the small piece of cut herring fell beneath the undulating surf, an aggressive pull at the end of the line throttled my attention like freak thunder on a calm afternoon. I pull back. Hook set. Drag wheeling out echoes across the dark sand beach. It’s 10 a.m. and a light rain hovers; clouds shroud the southern distant mountains across Kachemak Bay, while somewhere north the sun burns a curtain of fog skipping small fitful beams across the water. The scent of diesel rides slowly ...   Homer Fishing Article Continued

"Rabbit Fever" in Alaska

By Riley Woodford

In an ideal context, "rabbit fever" would refer to unbridled enthusiasm for hunting hares. But the term usually refers to a serious illness passed to people and pets by hares and rabbits. Earlier this summer, a North Pole man was sickened with tularemia after skinning an infected hare. This does not mark an outbreak in Alaska, but some states in the Lower 48 are seeing multiple cases this year.

This is the first human case in Alaska since 2009, although there have been cases of ...   Rabbit Fever Article Continued

Interactive Maps for Hunters
Work Without Internet

By Riley Woodford

Hunters in Alaska have a new tool to keep them on track. Geo-referenced PDF maps for Alaska’s Game Management Units can be downloaded to a smartphone or mobile device with GPS capabilities, and the phone’s GPS will let you know where you are, even if you are not on a wireless or cellular network.

Hunting regulations vary between different Game Management Unit, and even between subunits. In addition, land status in parts of Alaska can be confusing, a patchwork of federal, state, ...   New Hunt Maps Article Continued

The Alaska Freshwater Fish Inventory Program

By James Bales

Alaska's abundant, remote, and predominantly pristine freshwater fish habitats are largely unexplored and undocumented. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Alaska Freshwater Fish Inventory program annually designs and conducts studies to try and fill those vast information gaps. The overall goal of the Inventory program is to provide information needed for management of the habitats that support Alaska’s freshwater fish.

The various fish habitat management and protection ...   Fish Inventory Article Continued

Tangled Sea Lions Get Help
Biologists Team up for Capture and Aid

By Julie Speegle, Lauri Jemison and Riley Woodford

Steller sea lions are curious by nature. They will play with trash they encounter in the ocean, and a sea lion swimming through marine debris can become entangled. Loops of synthetic material are especially hazardous to marine animals.

Imagine a young sea lion playing with a plastic packing band floating in the ocean. The band slips over the animal’s head and lodges around its neck. Initially there isn’t a problem, but plastics are durable and outlive sea lions, so as the ...   Tangled Sea Lions Article Continued