I finally found time (with my dad's help) to post about several of this year's adventures. I was too busy early in the summer, finishing my Ph.D. and starting my new research project
, to get out fishing. In August, my dad (having just retired from the Wisconsin DNR) flew up to Alaska to help with fieldwork. We didn't have enough fieldwork to justify hiring a technician this year, but it was too much to do with day-to-day volunteers, so his help for a couple weeks was extremely useful.
We blazed a trail at a small-stream study site
and tested a bunch of equipment
Later that same day, we met up with my wife at Denali National Park and celebrated our 4th anniversary with an exciting packraft float
down Class II-III Riley Creek.
That night my wife's parents flew in, so my father-in-law came out to help us record data on Chinook salmon in the Chena River
After that, dad and I traveled to a large spring creek study site
to set up the camp our study will use for the next few years
We accomplished a lot of productive technology testing and fly fished for big grayling to gather diet samples
After finishing fieldwork at all of our sites, we took a few days just to hunt and fish.
Our first and most exciting trip was a caribou hunt in the Alaska Range
. We hiked in about 13 miles and floated out about 15. My dad wrote up his account of the hunt
, too. We saw some epic scenery, and courted disaster multiple times--the story is worth a read!
After that adventure we took a day in Fairbanks to recuperate before heading to the Kenai peninsula, where we fished the Kenai River for trout
and did a saltwater charter out of Homer
We broke up the 12-hour drive back to Fairbanks by spending a night in Talkeetna, where good weather the next morning encouraged us to take a spur-of-the-moment flightseeing tour over Denali National Park with K2 Aviation
A week or so after dad left, Lena and I participated in the Denali Park road lottery, driving our vehicle in and seeing some great wildlife
A few weeks later was my first trip to the bush to help some USFWS scientists with technology I developed during my Ph.D. See sights in Kotzebue
, sights from the trip to camp through the village of Selawik
, photos from the Selawik River
, traveling from Selawik to Kotzebue
, views of Denali Park the flight back