PRESS RELEASE from Alaska Department for Fish & Game For Immediate Release: October 5, 2015
Goat Hunt Closes North of Valdez Arm
Registration permit hunt RG249 for mountain goats in Unit 6D will close at 11:59 p.m. on October 6 by Emergency Order of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. Hunt area RG249 includes areas east of Columbia Glacier, north of Valdez Arm and west of Port Valdez, Shoup Bay and Shoup Glacier.
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Earliest evidence of ancient North American salmon fishing verified
UAF- Researchers in Alaska have found the earliest known evidence that Ice Age humans in North America used salmon as a food source, according to a new paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The findings counter traditionally held beliefs that Ice Age Paleoindians were primarily big-game hunters. They are based on analysis of 11,500-year-old chum salmon bones found by University of Alaska Fairbanks anthropologist Ben Potter and colleagues at the Upward Sun River site in Interior Alaska. Excavation of the site has revealed human dwellings, tools and human remains, as well as the salmon bones.
“Salmon fishing has deep roots, and we now know that salmon have been consumed by North American humans at least 11,500 years ago,” said lead author Carrin Halffman, a UAF anthropologist who helped analyze the fish bones with co-authors Brian Kemp of Washington State University, Potter and others.
The findings also suggest that salmon spawning runs were established much earlier and much farther north than previously thought, at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, also known as the last Ice Age.
Ancient DNA and stable isotope analysis verified the fish remains as sea-run chum salmon that migrated upriver some 1,400 kilometers from where the mouth of the Yukon River now exists. These analyses indicate that modern salmon migrations may have ancient roots, dating back to at least the end of the last Ice Age.
“We have cases where salmon become landlocked and have very different isotopic signatures than marine salmon. Combining genetic and isotopic analyses allow us to confirm the identity as chum salmon, which inhabit the area today, as well as establish their life histories,” said Potter. “Both are necessary to understand how humans used these resources."
The salmon were found in an ancient cooking hearth in a residential structure. Fish remains pose a challenge to archaeologists because their bones are very small and fragile and typically do not preserve well. Because of these challenges, their remains are likely underrepresented in global archaeological studies and findings.
The findings show that ancient Beringian diets were broader than earlier thought and that Ice Age humans used complex strategies and specialized technology to obtain their food, Potter said. He also noted that there is no evidence to suggest that salmons runs weren’t also present in the area a few thousand years prior to the time when people were living at the Upward Sun River site. “This suggests that salmon fishing may have played a role in the early human colonization of North America.”
The excavation and analysis were funded in part by the National Science Foundation. Other contributors to the paper include UAF postdoctoral researcher Holly McKinney, Bruce Finney of Idaho State University, and Antonia Rodrigues and Dongya Yang of Simon Fraser University.
Pelted by hailstones and buffeted by an icy wind, Yasser Arslanuk, a 55-year-old Syrian engineer, his wife and two young sons wobbled across the border from Russia into Norway astride bicycles last week, the latest migrants to complete an improbable new route to Europe.
OPINION: Without formal and active engagement between the Arctic Council and the Northern Forum, efforts by either to address the economic, living, cultural and environmental conditions of northern peoples will fall flat.
Whaling is an Inupiat tradition stretching back thousands of years and countless generations. But this generation may be the first to witness a new twist on an ancient practice; for the first time in memory, women are throwing the harpoons.
Fresh from what some environmentalists claim is a victory that forced Shell to drop its ambitious plans to search for oil in Arctic waters off Alaska, the Sierra Club is urging supporters to rise up to stop a separate offshore Alaska energy project.
The U.S. Geological Survey released a study Tuesday suggesting that many local observers in Alaska are reporting greater variability in year-to-year berry harvests, though the reports themselves varied.
UNESCO is cheering Shell's planned departure from the Chukchi Sea, saying oil exploration efforts there posed a threat to Russia's Wrangel Island Reserve some 360 miles to the west. The Wrangel Island reserve is the only designated World Heritage site in the Arctic.
Trio of suicides leaves Alaska village in grief
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A Native village on Alaska's western coast is reeling from back-to-back suicides of three young adults — with each subsequent death influenced by the preceding one.
Alaska to feel remnants of tropical storm
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The remnants of a tropical storm were expected to bring heavy rains and gusty winds to parts of southeast Alaska on Friday in what is a rare weather event.