After a week or so of relative quiet, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game observed nearly 3 miles of active herring spawn in Sitka Sound over the weekend. Area management biologist Dave Gordon reported “Spawn in Mosquito Cove and Katlian Bay light and dissipating. Spawn developing in Salisbury Sound from Marine Cove and north with a little spot inside of St John Baptist Bay. A light spawn on Point Brown in Hayward Strait as well as a small but intense start inside of Rob Pt. A good spawn going right off of Fred’s Creek, with several groups of sea lions outside the reef to the south of Fred’s Creek.” The department uses spawn mapping and dive surveys to study egg deposition and to help forecast next year’s biomass.
A species of fern common in Asia has been found in Southeast Alaska. But unlike invasive species, Wright’s filmy fern is an early colonizer. And figuring out how and when it got here is the next piece of the puzzle. more
Rob Harcourt is a professor of Marine Ecology at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He's in Sitka as a Scientist in Residency Fellow (SIRF) at the Sitka Sound Science Center. Harcourt uses advanced tagging techniques to study ocean animals and their habitat -- everything from jellyfish to blue whales. He'll be speaking tonight (6PM Wed Apr 22, Alaska Raptor Rehabilitation Center, free) on climate change and penquins: "Will Happy Feet feel the heat?" With SSS research director Tory O'Connell. Downloadable audio. more