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Outdoors

Michael Penn | Juneau Empire
Four humpback whales dive in front of a Allen Marine whale watching boat during the first day of the 69th annual Golden North Salmon Derby in August 2015.

NOAA's Whale SENSE reaches one-year anniversary

Whale watching operators have noticed more communication, less crowding, fewer complaints and more awareness of speed and time spent with whales, according to feedback given at NOAA's pre-season Whale SENSE meeting.

by KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Alaska Science Forum: Calling frogs signal change of the season

NEAR BALLAINE LAKE - Over the blat of engines and hum of tires on nearby Farmers Loop, Mark Spangler hears the chuckles of the animal he is studying.
NED ROZELL

Off the Trails: Anadromous fish in Dredge Creek

Dredge Creek begins in a long pond near the Glacier Spur highway, crosses under the road, and flows below the slopes of Thunder Mountain.
MARY F. WILLSON

Free screening of The Messenger

To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the International Migratory Bird Treaty, the Juneau Audubon Society invites Juneau to a free screening of the movie "The Messenger" at Gold Town Nickelodeon Theater on May 2 at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Wild Shots

Submit your wild shots: The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to: Outdoors Editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Articles from the Outdoors section archive

The case for cutthroat trout

THE CASE FOR CUTTS It's hard to explain the appeal of dry fly fishing for a 14-inch cutthroat trout because, well - it's 14 inches. A 14-pound salmon or 41-pound king salmon is what goes on the ...
By JEFF LUND

Fish Factor: Salmon season starts soon

FISH FACTOR: SALMON SEASON SOON TO START By Laine Welch In the face of Alaska's multi-billion dollar budget shortfalls, state policy makers are putting the onus on fishermen to cover the costs of ...
By LAINE WELCH

Friday, April 29, 2016

Alaska Science Forum: Calling frogs signal change of the season

NEAR BALLAINE LAKE - Over the blat of engines and hum of tires on nearby Farmers Loop, Mark Spangler hears the chuckles of the animal he is studying.
By NED ROZELL

Off the Trails: Anadromous fish in Dredge Creek

Dredge Creek begins in a long pond near the Glacier Spur highway, crosses under the road, and flows below the slopes of Thunder Mountain.
By MARY F. WILLSON

NOAA's Whale SENSE reaches one-year anniversary

Whale watching operators have noticed more communication, less crowding, fewer complaints and more awareness of speed and time spent with whales, according to feedback given at NOAA's pre-season ...
By KEVIN GULLUFSEN

Wild Shots

Submit your wild shots: The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to: Outdoors Editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Free screening of The Messenger

To celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the International Migratory Bird Treaty, the Juneau Audubon Society invites Juneau to a free screening of the movie "The Messenger" at Gold Town ...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Alaska Science Forum: Carpeting the Denali Fault with earthquake sensors

NEAR MILLER CREEK - Crouching amid scratchy spruce branches and surrounded by feet of snow, Amir Allam jabs half-frozen soil with the spikey base of a white cylinder. The seismologist twists the ...
By NED ROZELL

The America trip: To the Atlantic!

We were eating at a McDonald's just outside Asheville, North Carolina, and for the first time in over a month, we truly didn't have any destination or plan. After a lengthy discussion, which ...
By Logan Miller

Dirt Girl: Spring planting and risk taking

The question of when to begin the garden season is dependent on your level of risk taking.
By CORINNE CONLON

On the Trails: Mid-April flowers and ducks

April showers bring May flowers? Ha! The flowers are already here in profusion, what with the near-absence of a real winter and the coming of a very early spring.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Federal agency seeks more protection for Cook Inlet whales

KENAI - A federal commission is calling on the National Marine Fisheries Service to delay permits issued for oil and gas operations in Cook Inlet until a plan is developed to ensure marine ...

Wild Shots

Submit your wild shots: The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to: Outdoors Editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Raincountry Flyfishers meeting

Raincountry Flyfishers welcome all to a "Tie & Lie" get together in the Thunder Mountain High School library at 7 p.m. on April 27. Fishing trips, both past and planned, will be discussed.

Filleting and de-heading certain fish will be prohibited in Southeast Alaska for summer

In Juneau starting Monday, April 25 until midnight on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, there will be limits on filleting and de-heading certain fish according to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, ...

Friday, April 15, 2016

Volunteers sought for east side Mendenhall Lake Project

The Trout Unlimited's Habitat Improvement Committee, the U.S. Forest Service and volunteers worked to upgrade the habitat and improve the trail on the east side of the Mendenhall Lake on April 9.

Plant sale in May

There will be a plant sale on Saturday, May 7, at 9 a.m.-noon in the Safeway parking lot.

The faces behind the fish

Most Americans don't know where their food comes from. Alaskans have it better, thanks to subsistence lifestyles and programs like Alaskans Own, a Sitka-based community supported fishery (CSF).
By Jennifer Nu

Wild Shots

Submit your wild shots: The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to: Outdoors Editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.

White creatures changing with the season

This morning, through the west window, I noticed a flash of white. I looked up from breakfast to see a short-tailed weasel popping from a hole in the snowpack.
By NED ROZELL

On the trails: Intertidal highlights

Good low tides (minus four feet) during daylight hours on two days in early April brought us some superior tide-pooling opportunities. We try to do this with care: leaving our finds in the place ...
By MARY F. WILLSON

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Prince of Wales mining symposium to be held on April 27-28

Prince of Wales Island-Wide Mining Symposium to be held on April 27-28 The sixth annual Prince of Wales Island-Wide Mining Symposium will be held on April 27-28 at the Klawock School Gym in Klawock.

Friday, April 8, 2016

On the Trails: Sticky plants

Many plants produce sticky or hooked hairs (technically called trichomes) that are useful in a dazzling array of ways. Some ways are quite straightforward, and others present more complex stories.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Dirt Girl: Prepping your raised bed

With starts on my windowsill and any other place I can find to cram them in, I'm ready for the time to plant them outside. I've gone to the garden to see what things I can do to prepare the beds, ...
By CORINNE CONLON

Alaska Science Forum: Thule people had northern life figured out

About 1,000 years ago, Norse explorer Leif Ericson bumped into the New World at Newfoundland. The old world was filling up, with 300,000 people living in the Roman capital of Constantinople.
By NED ROZELL

Sentinels of change: Gray whales in the Arctic

Gray whales do things differently. Gray whales look different, swim farther, and fight more fiercely than other whales. They owe their distinctive mottled look to a coat of crustaceans that can ...
By CHRISTINE BAIER

Upper Taku Inlet king fishing closed

For sport fishing of king salmon in Juneau, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Division of Sport Fish regulations, is limiting fishermen to one fish from April 15 to June 30.

Trout Unlimited seeks volunteers to upgrade a trail to protect salmon habitat

The Juneau Chapter of Trout Unlimited is working with the U.S. Forest Service to upgrade salmon rearing habitat and upgrade a trail on the east side of Mendenhall Lake. They are seeking volunteers ...

Be bear aware

Gov. Bill Walker proclaimed April to be Bear Awareness Month for good reason: bears have been roused earlier than usual from hibernation due to the unseasonably mild weather Alaska has had recently.

Sixth annual Yakutat Tern Festival celebrates Aleutian and Arctic Terns

The Sixth Annual Yakutat Tern Festival is June 2-5. The festival is a celebration of the natural and cultural resources of Yakutat.

Wild Shots

Submit your wild shots: The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to: Outdoors Editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Southeast Alaskan snowboarder Ryland Bell wins Haines Freeride event

"Last night I saw this line that was really calling to me, and everything came together..."

Things fall apart

Taking care of your gear is important, but there is also the assumed consequence of using that gear. 
By JEFF LUND

Fish Factor: 1.5 million write against Frankensalmon

The lawsuit challenges FDA’s claim that it has authority to approve and regulate GE animals as “animal drugs” under the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, said seafood market expert John ...
By LAINE WELCH

Friday, April 1, 2016

Agency debuts tools to track Alaska marine diets, ecosystems

JUNEAU - SScientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have debuted two databases designed to give researchers data on marine fish species diets and ecosystem trends in Alaska.
By RASHAH MCCHESNEY

Traceability in seafood chain about money, not just ethics

PORTLAND, Maine - A coalition of environmentalists and seafood industry professionals is campaigning to make the case that traceability in the seafood industry is about success in the marketplace ...
By PATRICK WHITTLE

The Walking Trip: Walkers in the Woods, Part Two

Our first full day of walking on a hiking trail at Amicalola State Park, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, began in a cold fog and progressed to a still and muggy afternoon with dark ...
By Logan Miller

On the Trails: Spring equinox

The week that included the equinox brought a run of more nice weather, calling me out to note the signs of what seems to be an unusually early spring. As usually happens in Juneau, the development ...
By MARY F. WILLSON

For foolproof baked salmon, reach for the foil

We all know that eating fish several times a week is a healthy goal. But a lot of otherwise accomplished home cooks still find cooking fish a bit intimidating. The biggest worry? Drying it out.
By MELISSA D'ARABIAN

Ghost ship artifacts emerge in museum

Ships with no humans aboard have long ridden the seas, often floating with supernatural stories of being piloted by dead crew members or becoming visible to sailors and then vanishing. Alaska has ...
By NED ROZELL

Wild Shots

Submit your wild shots: The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to: Outdoors Editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Fish & Game to survey Cook Inlet razor clams

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game plans to study the razor clams on the west side of Cook Inlet this summer. Razor clams are a popular target for both sport and commercial harvesters in the ...
By ELIZABETH EARL

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Sitka herring fishery closes 4,600 tons short

SITKA - Fish and Game closed the Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery Monday, with more than 4,600 tons left to catch in the quota. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Soldotna Creek targeted for pike eradication

KENAI - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is preparing to move forward in the second phase of a project to eradicate the invasive northern pike from Kenai Peninsula waters, specifically the ...
By MEGAN PACER

Friday, March 25, 2016

Wrangell's Stikine River Birding Festival

The Stikine River Birding Festival celebrates the spring arrival of migratory birds, including hundreds of thousands of shorebirds to the Stikine River Delta. The nineteenth year of this Wrangell ...

BLM Alaska seeks nominations to Resource Advisory Council

The Bureau of Land Management is seeking nominations for five positions on BLM's Alaska Resource Advisory Council, which advises the BLM on public land issues.

Wild Shots

Submit your wild shots: The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to: Outdoors Editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.

Parasitic rhizocephalan barnacles

There are many species of parasitic barnacles, distributed around the world. The rhizocephalans parasitize crabs; they are sometimes found on king crabs in our area.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Acorn and gooseneck barnacles

There are hundreds of species of barnacle and they do some very peculiar things (from our perspective).
By MARY F. WILLSON

Crab grab

Female tanner crabs, particularly those that have mated in previous years, commonly gather in huge groups, at a density of over 100 females per square meter, in the mating season. Males come and ...
By MARY F. WILLSON

Nudibranch orgies

Nudibranchs are shell-less-molluscs. Mostly carnivorous, they come in a variety of colors and forms.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Giant Pacific octopus

Individuals of this species often reach a body weight of 100 pounds or more, but in the Gulf of Alaska, adults have an average weight between twenty and forty pounds. Individuals are sexually ...
By MARY F. WILLSON

Sunflower sea stars

This large sea star is not as stiff and rigid as other species and comes in various colors. It lives from the low intertidal zone down to a depth of about 1500 feet, but we sometimes see it higher ...
By MARY F. WILLSON

Parasitic bopyrid isopods

Isopods (or sowbugs or pillbugs) are crustaceans; some live independently and others are parasitic.
By MARY F. WILLSON

Dirt Girl: Starting starts

My neighbor greeted me the other day with a question: "Do you have any plants started?" I shrugged my shoulders to answer her obvious question. The truth is, I don't really have an ideal space to ...
By CORINNE CONLON

Sex and the sea

Marine invertebrates exhibit a dazzling array of interesting ways of sexual reproduction, some of which is shown here. Thanks to Drs.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Wild Shots

Submit your wild shots: The Empire Outdoors page is looking for superb images of Alaska's wildlife, scenery or plant life. Send your photos to: Outdoors Editor, outdoors@juneauempire.com.

On the Trails: Odds and ends

Here are a few recent observations from late February and early March, plus a very cool thing I've only read about. So here goes . As I strolled out toward the Boy Scout beach, I saw a fellow ...
By Mary Willson

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