Waking up, getting out of the tent and seeing snow covered mountains of the Alaska Range, while there was a wonderful sunrise… No houses or even people for many miles around… That was part of my daily routine during my internship…
For my internship in Alaska I flew to a remote lake with a small float plane. The beautiful landscape of Alaska is already nice, but being able to do something to conserve the salmon population in this surrounding is even better!
After I applied through the Student Conservation Association for this internship: I was totally excited to work with salmon and to live in a camp with just one other person for eight weeks – no internet, no computer and no TV…
For me it was great to see how little energy people really need to live. Beside our gas cooker we had a small generator to charge satellite phone and camera batteries. When the temperatures went down, we put another layer on or jumped into our sleeping bags – the body can sufficiently heat itself if you isolate yourself well.
The work was very interesting for me as I have never worked with fish before. We were collecting and recording physical data on adult salmon, environmental conditions and collecting species/length/fecundity/scale/radio-tag data on migrating specimens. This data will assist the department of fish and game in Alaska to do studies about the salmon population in the region.
The Northern Pike (another fish species which was illegally-introduced ) is migrating to different lakes in the Alaska region and feeds on the eggs and smolt of the salmon. That is the reason for a drastic decrease of salmon populations in these lakes. That is why pike is seen as a threat to native wild stocks of salmon by some fishery managers. Illegal stocking of northern pike is reducing the quality of fishing in Southcentral Alaska and threatening both wild and stocked fisheries. It is difficult to remove the pike as it has few natural predators.
Beside my work I had time to discover the flora and fauna around me. I watched wildlife like bears and eagles or hiked in the untouched forest and enjoyed the wonderful scenery…
The whole Alaska experience was a once-in-a-lifetime, unforgettable trip!!!
- Location: Alaska, USA
- When: Summer 2011