Home
Field Notes
 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
YUKON FLATS NWR: Resource monitoring on private lands
Alaska Region, September 12, 2012
Print Friendly Version
Students in Venetie Alaska conduct a waterfowl survey on Big Lake enroute to deploying a nest box for cavity nesting waterfowl.  Local Elder Robert Frank Sr. (center) assists with waterfowl identification.
Students in Venetie Alaska conduct a waterfowl survey on Big Lake enroute to deploying a nest box for cavity nesting waterfowl. Local Elder Robert Frank Sr. (center) assists with waterfowl identification. - Photo Credit: Mark Bertram-FWS 2012
Students from John Fredson School in Venetie Alaska set out a minnow trap baited with salmon roe. No fish were captured but it workded efficiently at capturing predacious diving beetles.
Students from John Fredson School in Venetie Alaska set out a minnow trap baited with salmon roe. No fish were captured but it workded efficiently at capturing predacious diving beetles. - Photo Credit: Mark Bertram-FWS 2012
Students scoured shoreline sedges with sampling nets and sorted leaches, dragonfly, damselfly and caddisfly nymphs, and numerous fly larvae as they inventoried invertebrates on Big Lake, in Venetie Alaska, adjacent to the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge.
Students scoured shoreline sedges with sampling nets and sorted leaches, dragonfly, damselfly and caddisfly nymphs, and numerous fly larvae as they inventoried invertebrates on Big Lake, in Venetie Alaska, adjacent to the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: Mark Bertram-FWS 2012

Students in Venetie Alaska recently completed a fifth year of monitoring resources on Big Lake which is situated adjacent to the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge. The lake, surrounded by private lands, offers the Refuge an opportunity to collect waterfowl information, improve nesting opportunties for cavity nesting birds and provide a learning opportunity for local youth on lands not easily accessible to the Refuge.

 

Accompanied by local elder Robert Frank Sr, ten students checked the status of 6 next boxes, inventoried ducks, collected invertebrates, deployed fish traps, collected dragonflies, and operated both radio telemetry receivers and global positioning systems.

Three of the six boxes had been used by cavity nesting birds and one still included a 7 day old kestral. On the lake, students observed broods of mallard, wigeon, lesser scaup, canvasback and white-winged scoter. Other bird observations included red-necked and horned grebe, short eared owl and red-tailed hawk. On shore, students participated in a geocache exercise and learned navigation by gps. Students also deployed four additional nest boxes and learned about radio telemetry.

Elder Robert Frank Sr. shared stories of the early days with vivid descriptions of the lake which had high water levels and once hosted a large population of northern pike and whitefish. Today, water levels have receded due to a disconnect with a nearby creek and fish are scarce. In 2011 Refuge biologists determined that the old inlet had filled in and elevated 11 feet above the lake and creek levels which ensured a strong disconnect with incoming waters.

The Refuge is grateful to the Venetie Village Council and John Fredson school for assisting in organizing this annual project. This program provides hands-on biological experience for local youth, improves nesting habiat for resident and migratory birds, provides an opportunity for the Refuge to more effectively monitor significant resources on private lands, and furthers the working relationship between Refuge staff and local village residents.

Funding for this project was provided by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Restoration Funds.


Contact Info: Kristen Gilbert, 907-786-3391, Kristen_Gilbert@fws.gov



Send to:
From:

Notes:
Find a Field Notes Entry

Search by keyword

Search by State




Search by Region


US Fish and Wildlife Service footer