The April 9th show featured a conversation with Andy Szabo, Liah McPherson, and Dana Bloch. Andy is director of the Alaska Whale Foundation. Liah and Dana are graduate students studying whales. They were in town working on a project to measure body condition of Humpback Whales that gathered in Sitka Sound to feed on herring. They use a drone to get imagery of the whales from above and can use this to model the whale’s size and compare changes to individual whales over time.
If you have questions or observations you want to share, please feel free to leave a comment here or on the page I’ve set up for that purpose.
2 thoughts on “Sitka Nature Show #286 – Whale Researchers”
I’ve been trying to keep an eye on the Gray’s in the inner Sound for about 5 seasons. Things have changed dramatically, especially three seasons ago. I winter king troll in the outer Sound so I always see a big increase in later March as they migrate through. As you probably remember there was a very large spawn three season back. That was when there were Gray’s from south Kruzof ,north into Hayward back around over to Crown pass, in shallow waters. That was amazing. Haven’t seen those concentration since then.Still last two seasons there were some around. Two seasons ago they seemed to be concentrated around Shoals pt. This season they were more scattered along Kruzof.
As far as the Gray’s feeding on herring eggs. When you look at the location of both eggs and Gray’s there is little doubt they aren’t feeding on eggs. You might contact Aaron the ADFG herring manager about this. He has had them feeding nearby as the ADFG does dive surveys after spawn.
Those are my observations
Good program. If you know of any research folks who want to charter a local boat and licensed skipper please let me know. I turned 70 in March , after trolling since 1978 my body is telling me to ease back .Looking for other opportunities to make some money and still work on the water. Thanks.
Thanks John – I appreciate hearing about your observations! I’ve shared your comment with a couple of whale biologists.