Rebecca's Alaskan Adventures

I'm working as a Fish Culturist at Hidden Falls Salmon Hatchery in a remote spot near Sitka, Alaska! AM I CRAZY!? I'm starting to think so...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Whirlwind couple of months

WHEW What a whirlwind couple of months! I admit that I have been a blog slacker but my mind has been on other things… You all know what the main thing is!

On a beautiful, sunny April 18th day, Adam and I set out to go beachcombing for glass bouy balls. Little did I know I would be coming back to the hatchery with something much greater than a glass ball! We walked the beach for this elusive glass bouy ball, which is really just a glass ball used over in Japan as bouys. They are quite cool looking and hard to find. As I am checking every nook and cranny of the beach driftwood and up into the woods, I’m slowly lagging behind Adam. Finally I catch up to him. Right at that time, he proclaims “Oh I think this might be a piece of a glass ball!” I stand up on a log to wait for him to show me. When he gets to me, he said “Well… I didn’t find a glass ball… but I did find this box” as he pulls out a classic “ONLY ONE THING CAN BE IN THERE” kind of box! I was pretty surprised! I was convinced that I would know exactly when it was coming… I would see Adam acting different or something. But I was surprised… didn’t expect it at all!

After pulling out the box, we all know what happened after that! I couldn’t stop giggling… I just couldn’t believe it. Some people ask me if I cried, but when he asked me to marry him, I didn’t. Not until later… We kept walking down the beach, talking about things. He told me he wanted to call Dad and get his blessing, but our phones just went down the day before, so he had to email him and had just gotten a response back that morning. THAT is when I cried. Even writing this it STILL makes me tear up! I’m not sure why. Maybe because that type of thing is sort of “old school” and I thought it was awesome that he wanted to do that.

SOOO the whirlwind wedding planning begins! Anyone who knows me knows I watch tons of wedding shows. It’s a big joke at the hatchery about how much I watch the wedding dress show “Say Yes To The Dress.” As much as I watch these kinds of shows, you would thing I would have a pretty good idea of what my wedding vision would be like. I thought I had a good idea! Well once I became faced with REALLY planning stuff, I think my vision went away. My “vision” has changed a million times. Try finding the perfect wedding venue in Maine from Alaska! The only way to really do that is online… This is when it becomes complicated because we have very limited internet! Compound that with the fact our cell phones went down for about two months! (Thankfully they are back on and working now.)

So here I am, sitting in Sitka right now writing this. We are leaving tomorrow to head to Maine to plan out our wedding and I STILL don’t really know! I have some places in mind to visit, some photographers to visit, some dresses to try on… I really hope the trip is fun and not stressful, and we figure out everything we need to so I can feel calm again!

Ok, now onto other things… let me back track again… Work has been pretty busy for me also! As I said before, I have been taking care of the little coho for the first time. I have really enjoyed it but it’s new and can feel stressful at times. Making plans about how long fish can stay in certain containers and when they need to move is all new stuff to me. I’ve fed fish before but never had to be the one to figure out where to move fish. It is getting easier though. For a while, even my vacation time was up in the air because I wasn’t sure if my fish needed to be moved during that time. Anyhow, I’m on vacation right now so that’s been worked out obviously! I have lots of Coho planning in my future too because Ben, the former Coho person, has left. We have known for a while that Ben and Jacquie and the kids were ready to move on. They are moving to Idaho. It’s sad to see them go because we have gotten really close to them in the past few years, but everyone has a time limit when living remote. They reached their time limit. We all wish them the best of luck in Idaho and we are really excited to see them in a year at our wedding!

Since Ben and Jacquie are leaving, we decided to move to their house. It is bigger and probably nicer. We are a little sad to leave our perfect hatchery view of the weir and the bears but it will be nice to have a bigger place. We are moving there, then our duplex neighbors are switching sides to our side of the duplex and a few of our seasonal (they are a couple) are moving into Dan and April’s side of the duplex. Since we are on vacation right now, we are holding up the moving process, but we thought it would be too chaotic to try to move the past few days.

Speaking of the past few days… WHEW… are you ready!? It’s been an interesting past few days. First of all, Valerie has been here visiting! My first visitor in 4-1/2 years!!!!!! Can you believe it!? I barely can! I came into Sitka last weekend to greet here when she arrived. I was excited to see her when she got off the plane! Ok honestly, I teared up a little! Who am I!? I’m turning into Grandpa Moser… tearing up at everything! I guess it was just really good to see her. We went out to the hatchery the next day. The weather was alright for her vacation. The first day it was really nice. We went to the warm springs. After that, it was cloudy and sort of rainy. The wildlife didn’t exactly cooperate though. We only saw some whales from a distance. We went to the sea lion rookery (that I showed last blog) but didn’t even see anything! We went back a few days later and there was only one. BOO! We set the longline a few times and didn’t really get anything good! Finally we got a decent sized halibut. We saw bears too everyday but I was hoping some small cubs would come out so she could see how cute they are. She is coming back with about a million pictures and some pretty amazing bear paw slippers, so be sure to ask her about them!

Now, onto some biggggg news. Not as big as the engagement news but still pretty big. A few days ago, we got word of the resignation of NSRAA’s Operations Manager, Lon. He is moving on to work with the Sitka Sound Science Center. The next day, we found out that Scott (our manager) took that Operations Manager job so he will be moving to town. That left the Hatchery Manager job up in the air. Adam thought about it for a day and has decided to take the job. So Adam is the new Hidden Falls Hatchery manager!

Everything has just happened all at once! Ready to recap just this last week!?

Valerie visits, Lon leaves, Scott decides to leave to take the job in town, Adam becomes the manager, we go on vacation, The Gilles leave, we are planning a wedding, and moving houses!

It has been all at once, bang bang bang! Crazy!

So now I come back to me sitting in Sitka… waiting to leave. I’m excited for vacation, but it’s hard to leave my fish in the hands of someone else. With this whole job switch for Adam too, it’s hard but we’ve had this trip planned for a while. We couldn’t have predicted this to happen. Adam officially becomes the Hatchery Manager on July 1st and he won’t even be in Alaska! Scott won’t leave until after spawning so Adam will have a bit of time to learn as much as he can from Scott. It’s weird because even though it’s a huge thing, I don’t really feel like it affects me that much. It’s all on him. But it will be an adjustment for me too, being engaged/married to the boss. It is hard sometimes to separate relationship and work stuff.

Anyhow, I’m sure I will see you all in just a little while. We will be in Maine from June 30 – July 7 and Michigan from later July 7 – July 13. Hopefully I can fit some fun things in there besides wedding, wedding, wedding! Venues, photographers, dresses, dresses, DRESSES! Adam hasn’t been to Michigan in the summer… any fun ideas for us to do!? Maybe spending the night somewhere nice?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Boats, Goats, & Babies

I'd like to introduce you all to our new addition... A BOAT!

P.S. Valerie, that's the Shee Ateeka hotel in the back left.


When I last wrote, I talked about how Adam might get a boat. He went into town and checked it out and liked it! That was about a month ago! So finally, things have calmed down here, and the weather held up enough for us to get into town, get the boat, and return to the hatchery with it. Now we are back! It's an older aluminum hulled boat with a newer motor. The inside is pretty nice and has a nice heater, which makes for a very comfortable ride when it's cold out. We had a really comfortable ride... until halfway through when the water decided to get choppy. But then it got nice again closer to the hatchery. It only took us about 4 hours to get from Sitka to the hatchery, even with the choppy water.

There are ALOT of seiners in Sitka right now. The herring fishery is going to happen soon so everyone is out preparing.

With herring come hundreds of birds... apparently they like to hang out on a larger bird.

On the way, we stopped by the sea lion rookery near the hatchery. Adam has seen it but I haven't... it was AWESOME! It's just a rocky area where tons of sea lions like to hang out. There are probably about 100 sea lions of all sizes hauled up on the rocks, basking in the sun. Adam said there are usually more too. Once we pulled up closer with the boat, they just started getting really mouthy! It was funny. It sounded like a mix between cows and pigs... just going nuts. I took a video but I guess you'll have to wait to see it. The video portion isn't even that great, but the sound is funny. I see plenty of sea lions here at the hatchery, usually terrorizing the returning salmon, but it's pretty cool seeing 100 of them all together.


Aren't the little ones cute!?
They were gettin mouthy!

This cute mother and pup hanging out away from the rest.

A few weeks ago, Adam got his goat back from the tannery. It is small, but definately nice and very soft! Surprisingly soft!! We have it hanging on the wall in the living room now.


Now about the babies... My baby chinook have been out for 5 or 6 weeks now and they are growing. they are now about .72 grams. For a little while, they seemed to be getting sick but hopefully they are getting better now. Now, adding to my plate, are some more fish! Over the weekend, some of our coho began to get really active in their incubators. I figured they were getting close to their ponding date but was surprised to see how active they were getting! I figured they could wait until atleast Wednesday, when I come back to work because my "weekend" days are Monday and Tuesday. But the boss decided they should be ponded now so Ben did that when I was gone to get the boat. So now I have about 2.3 million more fish to take care of! Lemme tell you what... these fish are tiny! They are about .27 grams, which I'm sure doesn't give you much information, but they are only about an inch long. In a few more weeks, I’ll have another 3 million Coho in another raceway! I sure have my work cut out for me but, it is springtime after all!

Now I’m going to pass this on to someone you all haven’t talked to in a while…

Hey, T-Dog here!


Things are pretty fun! I just spent the day yesterday hanging out with my girlfriend while mom and dad were getting our new boat. It’s been nice and sunny here and I got to hang out outside the other day. I like the sun. The snow is still around so of course I’m happy with that… but the sun is slowly melting it… which makes me sad… but then I’m back to being happy again when I see that the melted snow makes mud, and I sure love mud!

Anywoof, let’s get serious now…

Mom doesn’t like to admit it but her feelings are a little hurt that it has been over 4 years and we are just now getting our first visitor! Don’t get me wrong, she is really excited… so am I!! But it wouldn’t hurt to have a few more. But she is getting tired of asking so I just wanted to secretly tell you! Hopefully I don’t get sent to my box for spilling the beans! MMMM Beans…. See ya!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Mother to 1.4

YEAR 5. Can you believe this is the start of my 5th season!? Even though I’m going on my 5th year, things will be different this year. Roles are changing around here. Adam and I will not be going to Takatz this year. Adam will be “assistant managing” here and running the Hidden Falls chum project. As for me, I just became the mother to 1,400,000 beautiful babies! HA Ok maybe they aren’t beautiful, but they are kinda cute! I will be taking care of the babies in freshwater this year. Right now, I am working with the baby Chinook, but in a little bit, the baby coho will be out of incubation and I will be taking care of them too. Melissa and Ben are taking care of the older Chinook and coho, respectively, but once they release their fish in late May-July, I will pass my babies on to them.

I have only had the fish outside for a week and a half. We had to pond them a little early because they were too frisky! They were very active inside the incubators, which causes them to do a few things. They get stuck on the screens we have, which raises the water level in the incubator. They were jumping over the screens that were getting clogged up. Some would land in the front channel, but most would end up on the ground… to die. Also, since they are active and the water level is high, they tend to swim or jump over the side channels on the incubator. You’d probably have to really see a picture of our incubators to understand it totally but there is a channel that runs underneath the plate where the fish are, so the water can come up from the bottom. Well, when the fish go over the channels, they just live down there. However, SOOOO many fish were going over the channels so a few times a day, we had to pull the plugs and let them out of that channel. We were putting those fish into a round pond early. We were getting like 80,000 fish a day! Finally, after about a little less than a week of doing this, we decided they were ready to be ponded, even if it was a little early, meaning they still had their yolk sac to feed on.

Unlike chum ponding, we are only dealing with 2 incubators of fish, instead of 100! So to pond them, we just use a net and scoop the fish out. There are also bio-rings, the substrate that we use so the fish can burrow into it. So these get scooped up also but we pour the net of fish through a mesh basket to catch these bio-rings. Since so many of the fish had jumped out and into the channels, in some boxes, there weren’t very many fish in the incubator boxes. It was surprising. We even found a few boxes that had a bunch of dead fish in the side channels, meaning we must have been pulling out a lot, but not nearly as much as what was actually in there. They must have gotten too crowded and died. After ponding was over, and the fish were in the raceway, it took a while to get all those dead fish (and a bunch of bad eggs and fungus) out. We also transferred those fish we ponded earlier from the round pond into the raceway too so they could all be together.

So now I am feeding my babies 7 times a day, even though they still aren’t eating great. Since we ponded them a bit early, some of them are still using up their yolk sac. We usually try to pond fish at 3-4% yolk sac (meaning that 3-4% of their body weight is their yolk sac.) but we ponded the Chinook around 6%. My fish are still pretty low maintenance right now, so there isn’t that much to do with them. I just feed them every day. I will be sampling them once a week to determine how much they have grown. Even though I have essentially been doing this stuff with the chum and even with these fish before, I have never been the LEADER of the project. I was the one who fed them, but I was never the one to determine how much to feed. I am also learning the computer file we have to keep track of their progress. It is just an excel file but it is pretty intricate with spreadsheets and pivot tables and stuff.

Well, that’s about it for fish stuff… chum are still incubating, but I think we may start ponding them in about a week. Our new seasonals came on Tuesday. Two guys and one girl. The night they came, we got together for a fire. It was really cold too. But it was still fun. As soon as I got out there, Lyndsey, who is another seasonal, but worked half a year last year, said to me “Hey I have a bone to pick with you!” “UH OH!” She told me that the seasonals knew all about us and everything because of my blog! Apparently if you google Hidden Falls, eventually it will lead you to my blog. I did it and it was like 4 or 5 pages in though. So they were looking at all the pictures and everything, and they said it was helpful and the pictures were better than the pictures they got sent with their other information. It was pretty funny. Obviously, I know it’s not a private blog but I just never thought that the seasonals would find it! But I’m ok with that!

Well, in an unrelated matter, we have a bit of excitement! Adam might be buying a boat!! He is currently in town for that reason. He has had his eye on this one boat and decided to go in and check it out. Scott was in town and said he could check it out first to make sure it was decent before Adam came in, because Adam would have had to upgrade the plane to a bigger plane. So Scott checked it out and came back with a good report. Adam went in yesterday and checked it out. He really liked it. They weren’t sure if they could get it in the water for a test drive because it’s been so cold so everything was frozen, but they did and it he still liked it. The “kicker”, which is the extra little motor just in case your big one breaks when you are driving around, wasn’t working because the guy hadn’t run it for a year, so the owner was going to see if he could get it working. But whether it was working or not, Adam said he was going to probably buy it! I keep you posted but I should know within a day or two. It’s pretty exciting!! Especially since we are going to be here this spring, instead of Takatz, it will help A LOT to have a boat of our own, instead of having to fight for the company boat with everyone else.

I don’t really have any pictures to show yet. I have only taken pictures of the dog since I have been back. Well, til next time!

SHOUT OUT OF THE DAY: NINER!! Only 4 more months EXACTLY!! You are going to be the best visitor I've ever had! Oh wait......

Monday, November 1, 2010

Washington Hatchery Tour

I forgot I was going to write a blog about my trip to Washington. I've been back for a few weeks now. The trip to tour Washington hatcheries was only 4 days but because of flight schedules, I had to spend 5 days in town (9 days away total for a 4 day trip!) A few days before I went to town, a big storm blew through and knocked the power out in Sitka. They had some power but not enough for the whole town so they had a few days of rolling blackouts (that means 1 hour of power on this side of town, then 1 hour of power for that side of town... back and forth all day)... and I got to town just in time to experience that! BOO. Even though I was still really bored in town, there was some events going on. Alaska Day was October 18th so the weekend before they had a few events. I went to the Russian Dancer show one night and the Military band concert another night. Alaska Day is one of the biggest events to happen in Sitka so lots of military people were in town and they have a parade and other stuff on that day. Unfortunately I left two hours before the parade... bad timing for the tour!

Anyhow, the trip went well! I was a big nervous, just because I wouldn't know anyone, but everyone was really nice. The manager from the hatchery in town came with but I don't really even know him, but he turned out to be really fun and cool so I'm glad he went. Even though I wasn't a manager or assistant manager of a hatchery, it was kinda fun to talk about hatchery stuff with other people. Even though I didn't know as much... Bill and I had to give a presentation (made to by the big boss), which went good. Besides the presentation put on by the fish food guy who put on the tour, we were the only ones with presentations.

Anyhow, it'd be hard to explain everything about the tour but I'll say it was interesting to see how different places run. I learned how great we have it here when it comes to water. Every place we went to has to filter and treat their water, some use UV and one uses ozone. Here at Hidden Falls, we don't do anything with our water so that's pretty big. Lots of other things were different too... rearing containers, incubation rooms, etc. So I have a bunch of pictures I can show and talk about a little...

We took a ferry to the first place... otherwise we'd have to drive quite a while around Puget Sound.

Nice indoor round ponds. This place was more of a research site than a hatchery. They raised a bunch of different kinds of fish like rockfish, sablefish, lingcod, and some others. They also did a captive broodstock program where they are trying to revive a certain stock of sockeye salmon that is almost all dead. They had 6 adult sockeye in one of these round ponds.

As we were walking to the saltwater site of the Manchester Research Station, they had a little dock that had some sea lions on. These are California sea lions instead of the Stellar sea lions. These ones are the barking kind. They were so cool! Of course, as we walked by them (we were on a dock about 20 feet above them) they dove.

These are their saltwater pens.

In one of their saltwater pens, they had some ~20lb halibut. I'm not exactly sure what they have these for because I think the guy said they didn't raise them, they got them from somewhere. But they were pretty cool to watch. As soon as they lifted the gate that covered the pen, they fish came right up to the top.

More sea lions.


This was a different hatchery now. They used these egg troughs, which is very different than what we use.

This is at the Cowlitz Trout hatchery. This is their incubation room. In our incubation room, we use R-48s (the big blue vats) and No-Pads. They use this style of trough as their incubators. They put the eggs in baskets (which you can see).

All of their outdoor fish rearing containers were huge concrete raceways. Their older fish were fed by these automatic feeders. There is food in that fiberglass container and there is a thin metal pole hanging into the water and the trout bump it, causing the food to fall out. They went crazy for it!

Their oldest fish are reared in these massive ponds. Obviously, this one isn't filled with water but they had two other ones that were. It was a really foggy day, so you can't really see much of the pond. What you see is only 1/3 of it. They are about a quarter of a mile long and hold about 225,000 fish. At first, I thought just this area you see was it, which is still really big! Then I realized we were seeing only 1/3 of the pond and I was amazed!

This is the Cowlitz salmon hatchery. This hatchery was pretty amazing and just underwent $26 million worth of renovations! All of their rearing containers are these 200 foot long concrete raceways. Obviously you can't see them all, but there are about 20 of them I think. All with these fancy railings and the whole complex is covered in bird netting and really nice. Oh, and they had two of these complexes! They were beautiful!

This is their "fish sorting building." On the left is one of those raceway complexes. The river is on the right along with their fish ladder, which leads up to the sorting building. Notice the road under the building... I'll explain that in a minute. Also right under the building, you can see what looks like a white pipe. Hang on to that thought too.

This is half of their sorting area. It's all fairly complicated but easy to understand at the same time. The fish come up the ladder and get shocked in a box similar to ours. They come onto the table to get sorted. On this half of the table, the guys sort the fish down certain pipes that lead to big holding tanks.

The tanks are full of water. They only shock the fish a little to stun them, then they come back to life in the water. Today they were sorting fish that were tagged and fish that were surplus that were going to a food bank. So each group goes into a certain holding tank... Then when they want to, say, take the fish to the food bank, they drive a truck under the building, under the certain tank, and empty the tank into the truck and then drive off.

This is the other half of the sorting table. Similar concept... except the pipes connected to this side run a quarter mile down the hill to 8 raceways. This side of the table is for sorting the broodstock they need for spawning. The fish slide down to their certain raceway and hang out their until they spawn them.

These are the broodstock raceways that are down the hill from the sorting building. Those metal things on the other side of the raceways are crowders. While we use a crank and manpower to bring our raceway crowders forward, they have fancy hydraulic ones! Everyone was jealous!

We stayed at some nice places along the way... The Westin in Seattle, another decent hotel in Olympia, and then here. This was my room in the Olympic Club. It was a very different style hotel. It's a really old building that used to be a gentleman's club that has been turned into a hotel, with a pool hall, a movie theater (for free if you stay there) and a restaurant/bar. My room was just as you see... very small and quaint. It had a sink in the corner of the room but the bathrooms were shared in the hall.

This was a picture down the hall.

I was in room 3. These two rooms were next to mine, along with a bathroom (that's the open door). Each room was themed sorta... Each room is after a person that meant something to the Olympic Club. On the walls of the room was a little story of the person. In my room picture, you can see some writing.

This was the sink in the girl's bathroom downstairs. You could turn all the different knobs and alot of them produced water from some faucet. It was pretty interesting.

So that's all I have for the tour pictures. Of course I took tons of pictures but most wouldn't mean much to you guys. Alot of the pictures were of the formalin systems at each hatchery, because we want to set something up at ours. If you want to see more pictures, ask me when I come home. Now some random Tucker pictures...

Lab party! This is Tucker with his new chocolate and black lab friends. They were off a boat that was helping us with our fish. It was fun to see all three colors of labs in my yard.

Tucker likes to carry around fish. But he loses interest in
them once they stop moving.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Juneau pictures

Here are some more pictures from Juneau...

The Mendenhall glacier from "up close" I guess it's not exactly up close but if you got up close it would be massive!

ICE BERG, RIGHT AHEAD!! Chunks of ice are constantly breaking off of the glacier. We didn't see any break off when we were there but these were floating around in the water.

A waterfall off the the side of the glacier. We could have walked to this waterfall and stood practically under it, but we have the stroller.

And now for some funny pictures...

Funniest of them all! It looks like I'm hanging over a cliff!

When we were in a store in Juneau, I came across this! A bear nativity scene! See that's "Beary and Joseph" in the middle with a little baby and off to the right is one of the 3 wise men and a "camel" bear, some bear angels and more wise men on the other side and what looks like a bear in a sheep costume? I thought this was hilarious! I kinda wanted it!

I feel like you'd see this only in Alaska! What is that... you might say?

Oh, just a dog sitting in a chair on the back of a flatbed truck! I believe he is tied up there... or maybe the chair is. I'm not sure if the dog rides like this but it wouldn't surprise me! Here in Sitka, there are ALWAYS dogs in the back of trucks... even if the truck is parked and the owner isn't there.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Hunt for Warm October

Well it's October and the hunt is on! No, not the hunt for our long underwear! Though that's not too far off... The hunt for a winter vacation! Though most of you guys on Facebook know that because I’ve been posting my comments on the vacation search. It’s hard to figure out but I won’t bore you all with that. I just want to go somewhere warm. And as I sit here on our cold, dreary Saturday watching Michigan State beat on Michigan on a bright warm sunny October day, I feel jealous of you Michigan people! While you guys have potential for warm colorful fall days, we just have rain and cold! Oh well… we have a lot of green… and lots of bears… who like to poop all over our hatchery. I guess that isn’t helping Alaska’s beauty…

Besides rain and more rain (we had 3 inches of rain in one day last week), there isn’t all that much new, but I haven’t posted in a while so there is some stuff. I went to Juneau about three weeks ago with Jacquie and her two kids. I spent my birthday in town and had dinner with some ladies in town. Then on Wednesday, we took the ferry to Juneau. We took the “fast ferry” and it only took about 4 hours. It was my first time on the ferry and it was a pretty cool experience. It’s a huge boat and it just goes so fast for a boat that size! I mean, we aren’t talking 80 mph but it goes about 30 mph. If you stick your head out the side, the wind hits you pretty hard. The prop wash out the back of the boat is pretty cool to watch and just makes the boat seem so much more powerful. Like, if you fell off the back of the boat into that prop wash, you wouldn’t come back up.

This is the ferry... I think it was like 125 feet long.

Prop wash = power!

Anyhow, we didn’t really do that much in Juneau. We shopped a bunch. We went to Costco and spent a lot of money! I got to go to a movie which was nice. They do have a mall but it’s pretty lame… but they had a Joann Fabrics! We went downtown and shopped some more. The cruise season was winding down to a close when we were there, though there were two huge ships in, and there were a lot of good deals on clothes and other stuff. On our last full day there, we went to the Mendenhall Glacier which is pretty cool. The glacier goes right down to the water so there are icebergs broken off in the water. I’ve never seen a real iceberg so that was neat. We left on the ferry the next day around 8am, got into Sitka around 12:30 and caught a flight back out to the hatchery after that. We had GREAT weather the whole time we were gone and we didn’t bring any shorts with us because we thought it wouldn’t be as nice. Although we didn’t really do that much in Juneau, it was nice to get away for a little while.

This is the Mendenhall Glacier from a distance. I'll have to upload some up close pictures.

When I got back to the hatchery, it was about time to start working with the coho. We sort the coho and inject some of the fish with an antibiotic to prevent the eggs from getting Bacterial Kidney Disease. We seemed to do this sorting pretty fast, but maybe that was just in my opinion. Normally this is such a cold wet job, where your hands are in really cold water most of the day. Last year, I figured out that if I wore diving gloves, my hands didn’t get cold, even though they got wet, so I was ready to do that again. But this year, I was playing doctor and injecting the fish so I didn’t have to get wet and cold. That was really nice!

Now we have all of our coho hanging out in the raceways, just ripening up. Eventually the bears will start running out of fish and realizing that there is another stash in the raceways and they will start breaking in. But for now, they are staying out of there. That doesn’t mean they aren’t everywhere else! We see them on-site a lot now, making a mess with fish and poop… like I said before. It seems like the Sows and cubs are the ones walking around the most.

We also split ponds of coho in a quick amount of time. This is also another crappy job usually. Sometimes it’s even snowing when we have to do this, but this year it was just wet. It went really fast though so can’t complain about that. Other than that, we haven’t really been doing that much. Feeding fish… treating eggs to keep the fungus away…

Next week, I’ll be heading out AGAIN! I am going to Washington for a tour of some hatcheries down there for a few days. Adam did this tour last year and it seemed like he had a good time. It will be cool to see what other hatcheries do. I was a bit nervous at first though, because when Adam went, it was all guys. Everyone else that goes, too, are usually managers or assistant managers, and I’m just a lowly fish culturist without her own group of fish to raise! I asked the guy in charge if there was going to be any other girls and he said I was in luck! There is going to be another lady there who is a manager at some hatchery. Everyone else that is going is, again, managers and assistant managers. Hopefully it will be fun and not awkward, but I’m looking forward to it more now. I have to give a little presentation, which I am a little nervous about. I feel like if I was giving a presentation to people that know nothing about my hatchery or hatcheries period, it would be easier! But since I’m giving a little presentation to people that have been doing this longer than me, it’s a little scary. I just don’t want them to ask me questions that I can’t answer and make me look dumb. But I’m just going to try to talk about things specific to Hidden Falls. That’s what Lon, the BIG boss wanted me to do. Talk about our whale issues or our new alarm and monitoring system upgrades. It will probably go alright. I’ll probably have a lot of pictures to show when I get back.

Well that’s about all I have for now. Here are some other cool pictures…

Sea Lions

This is Takatz Lake from the air. I love the color!

Our pilot took us on a bit of a sightseeing tour on the way to town. This is a glacier I hadn't seen yet.

This is flying right over that glacier. They are so cool... very blue and craggy!

I just think this picture looks really cool. This is the back of Deep Inlet in town. Medvejie hatchery has a remote project here in Deep Inlet (similar to how we have a remote sight in Takatz.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


UPDATE since last blog!


I was pretty excited to see him show up the morning he returned. I was pretty anxious to see if he'd get his goat or not. They couldn't have had any BETTER weather for a hunting trip, though I think they could have had a better bug situation. I'm pretty sure they got swarmed!

Anyhow, pictures!
Adam and his mountain goat! It was a 5-5 1/2 year old nanny (female). He had to shoot it like 4 times. Apparently they are tough! Finally on the 4th shot, he took out her legs and she tumbled down the mountain. Unfortunately, during the tumble, her horns got a little busted up. You can see that one is broken and bent down and the other one is a little broken too. But it's still pretty cool. I'll have to take a close up when he gets them back from town. He had to send them to Fish & Game in town.

Can you believe that background!? I guess his goat was a little on the smaller size, just so you know. But I don't have any other pictures of goats to compare...

I think they camped somewhere on that ridge... about half way out.

Another ridge... they were literally walking on the top of the mountain!

These views!! That is Kaznyku Bay that you see... which is the bay we are in. That is Hidden Falls lake also. If you make the picture bigger, you can see some netpens in there, on the right of the picture.

More views. That long skinny water on the left is Cosmos Cove, which we boat to alot. On the right is our bay again... that same view that you saw before.