Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
March 2008

The Bou are Bunchin!
Counting the Largest Caribou Herd in Alaska

By Sue Steinacher

How to count the state's largest caribou herd? First it's a matter of timing. Then patience. Jim Dau, Fish and Game's Kotzebue area biologist has studied the Western Arctic Caribou Herd for more than 20 years. He knows approximately where and when the mosquitoes, warble, and bot flies will drive the caribou to the coast and then into ever-tightening groups, bunching up to expose less surface area to the onslaught of insects. Every two to four years, Dau rounds up a herd of biologists and a small ...   Counting Caribou ArticleContinued

Caribou and Climate Change
The Nelchina Caribou Herd, Lichens and Fire

By Elizabeth Manning

When most people wonder about how global climate change will affect Alaska's wildlife, polar bears and walruses are the animals that typically come to mind.

Some recent research by state and federal biologists, however, sheds some light on caribou, an important Alaskan game species, and how life might change for at least one herd in a warming world.

The research explores connections between the Nelchina caribou herd, lichens and fire, and examines what might happen if warming ...   Caribou and Climate ArticleContinued

Ask a Wildlife Biologist
Questions about Wolves

By Todd Rinaldi

Have you ever wondered what bears do when they hibernate, how wood frogs freeze solid or how far caribou migrate? Email your questions concerning wildlife to ADF&G educator Elizabeth Manning ( and she will try to find an answer from an expert. Each month, Alaska Fish and Wildlife News will highlight one of the inquiries. Here is this month's question, and answer:

Response from Todd Rinaldi, Fish and Game research biologist who specializes in wolves and their ...   Wolf Answers ArticleContinued

Chris Frary
Helping Hunters and Working with Wildlife

By Mark Henspeter

When 14-year-old Chris Frary moved to Alaska in 1967, he didn't forsee that in 40 years he'd be holding down the front desk for the Alaska Department of Fish in Game in Douglas. Frary is the face of Fish and Game for many people who come in to the Division of Wildlife Conservation looking for information on hunting and wildlife, and to reporting hunting and trapping successes.

Frary began working in his stepfather's outboard engine repair shop in Juneau as a teenager, and then opened and ...   Chris Frary ArticleContinued

King Salmon Comeback in the Stikine River

By Philip Richards

It's May 29, 2007, on the lower Stikine River in Southeast Alaska, and the river is rising, FAST, 10 feet in the last 10 days according to the USGS Stikine River water gauge. Clouds of silt blow downriver, driven by a gusty 20 knot wind. The crews running the drift gillnets know it will be a slow, punishing day, but at least it's not raining, yet…

The first four drifts of the day produce no fish, not even a bump, and the wind and silt continue to pound the crew. About 17 minutes into ...   Stikine River Kings ArticleContinued

A Quick and Easy Recipe for Baked Halibut

By Lisa Stuby

Several years ago a couple of friends had me over for dinner and introduced me to a way to bake halibut that is very tasty. Over the years, I made a few changes to the recipe to my own taste. Just recently, I made this recipe for my family in Oakland, CA. This is not a traditional recipe where you measure a teaspoon of this and a cup of that and cook only for a set time. For this recipe all you need is the basic, conceptual idea of the ingredient amounts that will be needed depending on the ...   Baked Halibut ArticleContinued