In the spring of 2004, thawing permafrost caused a large landslide (slump) in the upper Selawik River within Alaska's Selawik National Wildlife Refuge. As the slump grew it discharged tons of sediment upstream of the Selawik sheefish population's spawning grounds. This fish is an important Refuge fixture and year-round subsistence food for the Inupiat people living in the Selawik/Kotzebue region. In cooperation with the Native Village of Selawik, and the Refuge, our Fairbanks Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office and Selawik National Wildlife Refuge launched this study in 2011 to annually assess the slump’s effect on the make-up of Sheefish ages and number of spawners. This study is ongoing given the long-lived nature of Sheefish and need to measure impacts to their recruitment over an appropriately length of time. 

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Juvenile Northern Pike in aquarium at Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, South Dakota
The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.
A bright blue sky obstructed by fluffy white clouds reflected off of a stream shot from inside a kayak
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manages an unparalleled network of public lands and waters called the National Wildlife Refuge System. With more than 570 refuges spanning the country, this system protects iconic species and provides some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities on Earth.


Mountains and rivers from aerial view
Based in Fairbanks, and in collaboration with our Utqiaġvik (Barrow) Satellite Office, we work with others to deliver conservation over approximately 338-million acres of Alaska. Our responsibilities generally range from the Yukon River Delta region in southwest Alaska, eastward to the Canadian...
Eight caribou stand in a row in the snow on Selawik Refuge. Behind them, blue and white mountains emerge.
Straddling the Arctic Circle in a remote corner of northwestern Alaska lies Selawik Refuge, a special place of extreme climate, free-flowing rivers, and abundant wildlife. Here where the boreal forest of interior Alaska meets the Arctic tundra, thousands of waterfowl, shorebirds, fish, insects and...