When I was told that I was going to Sitka, I wondered exactly what the wildlife department on that island had in mind. Never did I think that I would be traveling to a salmon paradise and actually have hands-on work with giant Sockeyes, Cohos, Chums, Pinks and Dolly Vardens on my first day! Not only that, I was able to witness these salmons’ ocean bright and spawning colors that literally made a rainbow in the water. From the trap to giant fish nets and passing through the weirs, these fish, I have to say, are the toughest I have ever seen, even when they had a chunk missing from their backs! As to how the salmon acquired those 20160826_093234injuries, I was able to witness two brown bear adults and one cub at the weir and, as terrifying as it was to see them, they reminded me of lazy dogs. When we approached the weir and yelled out at them and blew an air horn to scare them off, they would rest about forty yards away from us and seemed to pout. Never did it cross my mind that something so lethal would pout like a dog for you to leave the stream of salmon. The cub there nicknamed Spot is known as a nuisance for the Forest Service, and he proved that when he decided pink flagging made a good chew toy. My week at the Redoubt was probably the most fun I have ever had, and the people I worked with were a lot of fun and great teachers. From that experience, I have to say that my favorite fish is the spawning chum.

1 Comment

Madeline Lopez · September 2, 2016 at 7:21 am

Great picture.

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