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Meetings with CPS and Fish Hatchery

Checkbox number one on my list: Meet with Joe and Dana at CPS for an ARIS power station lesson. As part of our new National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, focusing on Arctic grayling local adaptation to changing climate, we’ve purchased a high-tech sonar device, called the ARIS, which requires an even higher-tech power system with which to operate the unit in the high Arctic. Fortunately, creative problem solvers at CH2M HILL Polar Field Services (CPS), including Tracey, Joe and Dana, took on the challenge. This compact system uses both solar and wind power to energize our fish monitoring sonar, while placed in remote tundra streams. Combining sonar detections with our remote PIT tag antenna detections provides a ratio of tagged to untagged fish, giving us passive fish population estimates. Data, sweet data!

After completing checkbox two, “Replace Truck Windshield,” I’m on to checkbox three “Visit Fish Hatchery.” The Ruth Burnett sport fish hatchery hatches, rears, and stocks salmon and trout for local recreational fishing. Until recently, they were also one of the few fish hatcheries to raise Arctic grayling, which, it turns out, are trickier to raise than most other salmonids due to a fragile egg stage and difficulty transitioning from yolk sac to first feeding and from live feed to dry mash. Recently, all funding for Arctic grayling was pulled leaving only know-how behind. I’m here to glean as much of that know-how as possible from Travis, the hatchery’s grayling expert, so I can apply his knowledge to our research, a common garden experiment geared to determine the differences in local fish population attributes, such as growth and survivorship. So much to learn, so little time!

Message from Cam: OK I am on my way. Arriving 12:24 am

Phew! The Dynamic Grayling Duo’s in action again! : )

Joe and I give the ARIS power station a big “thumbs up” after a seemless set-up trial.

Ironically, the state cancelled funding for this hatcheries mascot, the magestic Arctic grayling.

Wide-eyed with awe at the hatchery scale.

Parr marked Arctic char, I think, or perhaps they are rainbow trout. So many fishies!

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