State fisheries scientist tackles marine ecology of salmon off Alaska’s coast


The state of Alaska now has a scientist at work trying to tackle the big question – what’s happening to Alaska salmon once they’re in the ocean environment?

That task falls to Katie Howard, an Anchorage-based fisheries scientist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Commercial Fisheries. She’s been working for Fish and Game since 2009 but started in her new role in May to address salmon in the marine environment.

“Essentially what we’re trying to do is build some capacity to look at salmon in the marine environment, to understand what’s going on with salmon and how it affects our fisheries in Alaska,” Howard said in a recent interview.

There are many unknowns about the time salmon spend in the ocean, including migration patterns of many populations. And Howard will be trying to tackle some of those questions around rates of marine survival.

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