Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wildlife Wednesdays

So I know I keep telling you about salmon yet haven’t had anything to show for it. Well today we finally saw our first enormous adult salmon, and better yet—in our trap! 

the salmon swim in through the V-shape entrance (behind the middle one), then can't turn around to swim out

Every morning from here on out begins with checking the river trap, called a weir, for salmon that may have entered from the ocean during a high night tide.  Last night had perfect conditions as high tide was at 10:15pm, and although it wasn’t entirely dark, the light was dim and the water high, which is ideal for salmon to swim upstream. After unlocking, de-electrifying, and unscrewing in order to open the trap, we were amazed to find four massive Chinook salmon swimming in place against the current.  Assuming there wouldn’t be any until later in the week, we were highly unprepared to handle 40-pounders in our jeans and with empty stomachs.  I ran back to the trailer, grabbed our waders, and jumped in the river to net the salmon to a larger holding pen, which creates much less stress.  Here are some photos of the scuffle!

This is just an introduction the new theme that will be appearing each Wednesday on my blog.  My roommate and fellow intern, Elizabeth, will be writing a weekly guest post about the wildlife found here in Kodiak, Alaska and that we are surrounded by on a daily basis.  Depending on what we see this week, Elizabeth will next week feature our interaction with the animal and its role in this magnificent environment we live in.  So get excited to see and read about an incredible creature next week!

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