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Subject:

Fishery Biologist Position, Ketchikan, Alaska

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Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 26 Jan 2000 09:41:10 -0900

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This is an outstanding opportunity for an energetic fishery biologist
interested in joining the effort to protect and enhance some of the
country's finest and strongest remaining salmon and steelhead fisheries,
and work with unique populations of resident trout, char, and other
species.

The position is located in Ketchikan, Alaska, near the southern edge of the
Alexander Archipelago in the Southeast Alaska panhandle. This is a region
of mountainous, heavily forested islands, and a narrow strip of rugged,
glacier studded mainland. Abundant rainfall averages over 150 inches
annually, and sustains a high density of streams, rivers, and lakes. Most
of the streams and rivers support one or more species of salmon, and many
also support spawning runs of steelhead and coastal cutthroat trout. Lakes
and streams isolated from marine waters by barrier falls frequently support
unique fish populations. The marine waters of the area support intensive
commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries for salmon, halibut, rockfish,
herring, crab, and shrimp.

The Ketchikan Sub-office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, where the
vacancy is being filled, strives to ensure that the logging, mining,
tourism, energy, and transportation industries conduct their operations in
a manner that minimizes impacts to the magnificent fish and wildlife
resources of the region. We are involved in siting and permitting a wide
variety of construction projects, including harbors, roads, industrial
sites, and hydropower facilities. We frequently work with the Forest
Service to plan timber sales and other projects on the our nation's largest
national forest, the Tongass. Negotiations focus on where and how
facilities will be built and operated, and which areas should be protected
from development. There are also opportunities to plan and implement
habitat improvement projects where streams have been degraded by past
land-use practices.

The staff of the Ketchikan Sub-office consists of two biologists: the
fishery biologist position to be filled, and a senior fish and wildlife
biologist. Guidance, administrative support, and office oversight are
provided by the Juneau Fish and Wildlife Office, located 250 miles to the
north. Supervision of fishery position will be by the senior biologist in
Ketchikan.

The office is in a modern, five-year-old building designed and owned by the
Fish and Wildlife Service. It is built on pilings, over the waters of
Thomas Basin, and includes an attached warehouse, workshop, and dock.
During spawning runs, many thousands of chinook, coho, and pink salmon, and
smaller numbers of steelhead and chum salmon congregate and mill about in
the waters under our office and dock.

Ketchikan, a community of approximately 15,000 (the fourth largest in the
State), is located on Revillagigedo Island (known locally as "Revilla").
Ketchikan is accessible only via air or water, through regularily scheduled
commercial flights and the Alaska State ferry service. Travel between
communities, and to remote project sites, is typically done by boat or
floatplane. We often travel in boats ranging in size from 17-foot skiffs
to the 65-foot, Service-owned workboats, Curlew and Surfbird (which are
based in Juneau).

Community assets include a modern hospital, recreation center, a local
campus of the University of Alaska, and 30 miles of highway (most of which
is paved). Local recreational opportunities include fishing for any of the
species named above; hunting for deer, bear, and mountain goat; and several
organized sports leagues. Community activities include theater, ballet,
and several annual art festivals. The local economy is in transition, with
large-scale industrial logging declining, and more emphasis on small timber
operations, wood products manufacturing, and tourism (especially catering
to the cruiseship visitors). Commercial fishing and fish processing
continues to be another major industry in the region.

Although rain is abundant year-round, temperatures are moderate. Winter
lows in Ketchikan seldom drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow does fall
during most winters, but rarely accumulates to more than a few inches near
sea level. Occasionally, heavy snows and prolonged cold create an
exceptional winter. Storms, which bring the rains in sideways sheets, are
common during the fall and winter. In the summer, highs rarely reach the
80s.

The conservation challenges in this resource-rich area are great. Many of
the projects we work on are controversial and high-profile. The rewards,
however, are considerable, as the rainforest of Southeast Alaska remains a
stronghold for many species listed at threatened or endangered elsewhere.

For information about the position, or the area, contact Steve Brockmann,
Fish and Wildlife Biologist in the USFWS Ketchikan Sub-office, at (907)
225-9691, or email: [log in to unmask]

The position announcement can be found on usajobs at:
http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/wfjic/jobs/FH6071.HTM


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