This time I finally get to stay more than one night in Juneau, and my first project is helping the fisheries department with their upcoming salmon surveys in the streams around the Mendenhall area. First we started at the Mendenhall Glacier, which was enormous and beautiful, with birds flying all around like Barn Swallows nesting at the visitor center and Ruby-crowned Kinglets and American Dippers. Christian, the fish biologist, Sophie, a seasonal, and I started at the head of Mendenhall Lake where it became a shallow stream.  Christian trained us how to do foot surveys when the sockeye salmon flood this stream during their spawning. We didn’t see any sockeye, but we did find theIMG_0231-1 American Dipper’s nest at the end of the stream where a small waterfall gushed its way down into the stream. After that we headed to another stream which had a weir fish trap encased on one side by a beaver dam. It’s funny that at almost every island I’ve been to there is always one animal that is a pest to all people, and for Juneau it’s the beaver. The beaver had literally stopped the water from exiting through the weir, so we spent almost two hours cleaning the weir and dispersing all the sticks, mud and even rocks across the woods so the beaver wouldn’t plug up the weir again. Fish biologists here hate the beaver for their constant need to plug up running water, and for blocking salmon routes that the biologists spent years researching and putting up weirs in order to measure the number of species and do population counts of the salmon that come through. Next week I head to Petersburg and then Ketchikan, and I was recently told that I would be traveling to Sitka as well which I heard is an once-in-a-lifetime experience…so I can’t wait to go!


1 Comment

Madeline Lopez · July 9, 2016 at 12:52 am

Amazing photographs, definitely adding Alaska and all your journey stops to my Bucket List! Thanks for sharing.

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