Alaska Fish & Wildlife News
April 2015

Grizzly Bear Denning
in the North Slope Oilfield Region

By Dick Shideler with Riley Woodford

In the early 1990s when ADFG wildlife biologist Dick Shideler began research on grizzly bears living in the North Slope oilfield region, he wondered where the bears denned. Looking around at the relatively flat terrain, with a scattering of features rising only a few meters above mostly wet Arctic tundra, it was easy to believe the “conventional wisdom” that grizzly bears only inhabited this area in the summer and moved back to the foothills and mountains of the Brooks Range to den. ...   Grizzly Bear Denning Article Continued

Gathering Herring Eggs
Subsistence Harvest a Sign of Spring

By Lauren Sill

“The herring are here and it’s finally spring.”

This quote from Jessica Gill, resident of Sitka and the tribal herring biologist, pretty well sums up how people in Sitka, and throughout Southeast, feel right now. Herring have returned to Sitka Sound and are preparing to spawn. The commercial fishery for herring sac roe has been occurring over the past week, and here in the Division of Subsistence, we are gearing up for our annual trip to Sitka for the subsistence herring ...   Herring Egg Harvest Article Continued

Aerial Surveying for Salmon in Alaska

By Scott Walker

One of the largest fisheries in Southeast Alaska is the purse seine and gillnet fisheries for pink salmon. The key component to managing these fisheries is aerial surveys that count boats and salmon (primarily pink salmon) from a small fixed wing airplane. This “inseason” management insures that commercial fishermen safely harvest salmon in areas where many stocks of salmon are intermingled. Surveys are critical to ensure that fish return to their natal streams in sufficient numbers ...   Aerial Surveying Article Continued

Alaskans Afield
Learning Outdoor Skills

By Sierra Rose Doherty

Out of 50 people who gathered to learn about grouse and ptarmigan at February’s Mat-Su Wildlife Wednesday lecture, only a handful raised their hand when asked, “How many people here are hunters?” Rick Merizon, the state’s small game biologist, was trying to decipher the make-u­­p of his audience before diving into the subject matter. Then Rick followed up with, “How many people would like to learn to hunt one day?” This time, hands shot up ...   Alaskans Afield Article Continued