Community News

Posted: Monday, August 20, 2001

CPR/First Aid classes offered in Homer

The Homer Community School is offering a CPR/First Aid class Sept. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. This is an AHA certified course that covers Adult CPR and the Heimlich maneuver. The class is registered with the Coast Guard and DOT. It is interactive and does not include videos. The cost of the class is $85 for all day or $50 for either CPR or First Aid. For more information, call 235-6090.

Genealogy seminar coming up

The Anchorage Genealogy Society will have its annual seminar Sept. 8 at Loussac Library in Anchorage. The featured speaker will be noted genealogist Kathleen W. Hinckley, the executive director of the Association of Professional Genealogists and a Certified Genealogist Records Specialist.

The seminar will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with registration from 8 to 9 a.m. There will be a light lunch available for $6. Seminar fees are $40 before Sept. 1 and $45 after Sept. 1.

Alaska Sealife Center News

Seal release highlights eventful rehab week

On Aug. 7, the Alaska SeaLife Center Rehabilitation Program released two harbor seals near Northwestern Glacier in Resurrection Bay. Aboard a Kenai Fjords Tour cruise boat, center staff spotted an area where about 150 harbor seals, adults and pups, were hauled out on ice. Senor Minsa, a male harbor seal found near Kodiak, was released first and immediately headed toward the other seals. Lolita, a female harbor seal rescued from Drift River near Cook Inlet, took a deep dive and swam away from the boat. Senor Minsa and Lolita were the second and third seals released by the center this year.

The sea otter pup from Juneau, Elfin, is doing fairly well and continues to gain weight. Elfin is being weaned onto solids, including clam and squid.

He is becoming more active and beginning to explore his environment. ASLC staff are still working with other marine facilities to find Elfin a permanent home.

Resident octopus does best Houdini impression

The large male octopus, Phoenix, is displaying behavior that would lead staff to believe he may be planning an escape or, worse yet, a visit into the neighboring tank to eat the fish that reside in it. He is on display in the Denizens of the Deep exhibit. Last week, aquarist Andy Mezirow caught Phoenix "red-handed." Phoenix had one arm over the barrier and into the other tank and another arm headed the same way. When he realized that he was being observed, Phoenix retracted his arms quickly and sank to the bottom of the tank.

Later in the week, aquarium staff observed Phoenix trying other methods of exploring life outside of Denizens of the Deep. While aquarists have increased security in Phoenix's habitat, they have asked ASLC staff and visitors to report any more unusual or mischievous behavior.

First tagged pink salmon returned to ASLC

The first pink salmon as part of the ASLC pink salmon genome research project was caught and returned to the center last week by Raymond Trig of Anchorage. Mr. Trig caught the fish in the Seward boat harbor. The fish was male and weighed about 4 or 5 pounds. This fish, like other spawning males, had become more slender and developed a hump on its back.

As of Aug. 12, 20 fish had been brought to the center. Most of the pink salmon were caught at Lowell Creek by the waterfall behind the center.

Although the adipose fin-clipped salmon count toward daily salmon limits, fishers who return marked ASLC fish will be entered into a drawing for one of two $500 rewards.

Researchers working on the salmon project also began another important phase of collecting returning pinks last week -- seining. Many of the salmon released from the center's fish pass last year ended up in local creeks. Researchers are anticipating salmon may be running up those same creeks this year. Staff and researchers will attempt to collect these "misdirected" fish by using seine nets. After gathering a large number of salmon in the nets, staff will sort through the fish, keeping ones with the trademark clipped adipose fin.

Project researchers also have begun taking a census of local fishers who have caught or observed others catching tagged fish. By educating local fishers, the ASLC hopes more people will turn in pinks that are part of the project.

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