Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
June 2007

Bear Milk

By Riley Woodford

Across North America this spring, thousands of baby animals are enjoying their first meals. For mammals, that's mother's milk. Bear cubs are getting some of the richest milk of all, and given bears' unusual gestation, they've been nursing since almost before they were born.

When it comes to pregnancy, giving birth and nursing, bears are remarkable. Wildlife biologist Sean Farley has raised bear cubs and studied their needs – and their mothers' ability to satisfy those needs. He's actually ...   Bear Milk ArticleContinued

Counting Salmon on the Chena River

By Audra Brase

We've all heard of counting sheep as a cure for insomnia, but how about counting salmon as a summer job?

Every summer throughout Alaska the Department of Fish and Game hire fisheries technicians to do just that: count salmon as they migrate upriver. It's important to get a sense for the number of salmon on the spawning grounds (known as escapement).

Depending on the river, counting techniques vary. They include stopping the fish behind a weir and then counting them as they pass ...   Counting Salmon ArticleContinued

Caribou Calves and Oil Development
Do They Mix?

By Patti Harper

One thing's certain about day-old caribou calves. “They are incredibly cute,” says Steve Arthur, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game in Fairbanks.

Arthur and his research partner, Patricia Del Vechhio, have gotten up close and personal with newborn calves of the Central Arctic caribou herd each June since 2001, in an effort to address an important question: What is the effect of oil field development on wildlife?

Arthur says data they have collected suggest ...   Caribou and Oil ArticleContinued

The Mobile Aquatic Classroom Hits the Road

By Tracy Smith

It's spring again – the birds are singing, the days are longer and that pile of snow in the yard has finally melted … and wait, what is that? It's a truck … it's a trailer… and it's covered in FISH?!? It is the Mobile Aquatic Classroom. Out of hibernation, the MAC is on the road again and gearing up for the summer season.

This is the fifth year for the MAC, operated by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Division of Sport Fish. The MAC travels state wide via the highway and marine ...   Fishmobile on tour ArticleContinued

Bear Signs Alert Hikers

By Elizabeth Manning

Say you're out hiking along a trail in or around Anchorage and you run across a sign warning that bears are nearby. Should that sign really be cause for concern? Don't bears move around a lot? And aren't bear signs sometimes left up for weeks?

Members of the Anchorage Bear Committee tackled the topic of bear signs several years ago and have since worked out a system so signs are posted only when necessary on Anchorage's trails and in greenbelts. Temporary, paper signs are better monitored ...   Bear Signs ArticleContinued

Smoked Salmon Mousse

By Riley Woodford

A fine smoked salmon spread. Why the fancy name? It's rich, but the consistency is a little lighter than many spreads. It uses cream instead of mayonnaise, and a fair dose of lemon juice.

Many salmon spreads suggest one part salmon to two parts cream cheese, resulting in a smoked salmon flavored cheese spread. That's okay for folks down south spending a fortune on smoked salmon, but Alaskans can generally up the salmon content a bit. The preparation takes about ten minutes with a food processor, ...   Smoked Salmon Mousse ArticleContinued