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Camp Days at Toolik Field Station

With the urgency of racing against snow-melt behind us, we take a collective steadying breath and begin preparing for the spring field season. While Cam assesses and inventories the antenna equipment, including readers, tuners, antenna wire, twin axial cable, etc., I’ve been orchestrating the ordering, pick-up and delivery of various necessities. Referring to my notes, as outlined by Travis Hyer during my visit to the Fairbanks fish hatchery, we’ll need some rather obscure equipment and supplies for rearing grayling that we’ll need to purchase and have shipped to Toolik Field Station, including Artemia (brine shrimp) cysts and Cyclopeze (copepods), among other items. Aside from the tedious task of ordering supplies, made more difficult due to my computer’s untimely hard drive failure, I get to engage in one of my ultimate “wheelhouse” activities: creating something from nothing! Well, not “nothing” really, but PVC pipe, mosquito mesh, and cable ties, when combined just-so, make awesome fish egg tumblers for hatching larval grayling.

Toolik Inlet May 2015

Near camp, the inlet flows furiously into Toolik Lake.


Referring to my notes from my visit to the Fairbanks fish hatchery, Travis Hyer recommends we use Artemia brine shrimp as a first-food for our baby grayling, which means hatching and rearing Artemia, too, as well as grayling.


After much internet searching, emailing and phone calling, our Artemia cysts are on their way!


Ready for some grayling eggs, these fish egg tumblers will eventually house and gently oxygenate our fertilized Arctic grayling eggs. Collected from three different watersheds, we will hatch the eggs and raise the fish at different temperatures in the lab to look for evidence of local population-level genetic adaptations to temperature.

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